Darren Metzger, in his seven year career as a high school English teacher, has already seen a few revolutions in his profession. “I have one foot on both sides of the digital shift,” said Metzger. “When I started as a first year teacher, we all got a couple of paper grade books. Now, they only stock a few for the whole school. It is first come, first serve, and it is always the veteran teachers who line up to grab one.” To save money, Metzger’s schools system changed over to digital grading and record keeping. In Metzger’s case, while he is more comfortable than the veteran teachers at using the computer, he still keeps a paper grade book as a back up. “I’m irrationally terrified of losing all of my work in the clouds,” he laughed.
Devices to enable digital filing have been hitting the market in droves. A business card reader, in the past, used to be a desk based clunky piece of technology. Now, a traveling executive can carry a business card reader in his jacket pocket, which allows for the creation of a digital filing system for business contacts, rather than a flock of loose cards.
Metzger’s generation currently fills that space between the tech phobic Boomers and the tech dependent Millenials. They tend to see the value of cloud based computing, but are wary of using it as their primary means of record keeping. Oddly enough, the number one reason they give for this wariness, document security, is something cloud based computing does exceptionally well compared to its more tangible alternative. According to Datapro, 25 percent of paper documents are ultimately misplaced, never to be seen again.
Electronic files are actually safer than their paper equivalent for a number of reasons. Cloud filing has numerous backup systems, and is not nearly as prone to problems like flood or fire. Cloud storage also allows businesses to be more mobile, as needed files can be transported on a phone or a keychain. In a recent SandHill survey of IT managers, about 50 percent responded that they moved to cloud technology in order to gain just that kind of business agility.
Not only is cloud filing more effective and safer, but it is also greener. By using a business card reader or other devices (like portable scanners or a laptop scanner), companies can send documents digitally, which allows them to avoid contributing to the massive paper waste of this country. More than one trillion documents are printed, copied of faxed every year in the United States. According to Reduce.org, the average office worker uses about 10 thousand sheets of paper per year. A simple shift to the cloud will help to reduce that waste.