The Hidden Costs of Paper and Software Silos – Making the Case for Consolidation 

Many businesses fail to realize the inefficiencies and hidden costs of relying on paper documents and multiple software systems.

On the surface, these options seem cost-effective but examining the total costs tells a different story. In this post, we break down the real costs of paper and software silos to make the case for consolidation. 

The Burden of Paper 

While paper itself may be cheap, the overhead needed to store, manage, and access paper records adds up tremendously including: 

– Storage space – file rooms, cabinets, boxes for archived paper records. This real estate is expensive.  

– Labor costs – employees spent countless hours searching for misfiled documents, photocopying, mailing, and filing paper records manually. This directly translates to dollars. 

– Compliance risks – paper records can be lost, misfiled, damaged leading to compliance issues and legal liabilities. Fines can be steep. 

– Lack of security – confidential papers can be accessed by unauthorized personnel leading to data breaches. 

– Lack of backup – unlike digital files, paper records are vulnerable to natural disasters, fires, floods. Recreating lost paper records is costly. 

– Difficulty sharing – distributing paper documents requires copying, faxing, mailing adding time and cost. 

When you tally up all these indirect costs, the friction of relying on paper processes is clear. But many businesses only look at the upfront price of paper itself which is deceiving. 

A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that the average office worker uses $10,000 worth of paper per year. 
A study by the Association for Information and Image Management found that employees spend 30% of their time searching for lost or misfiled documents.

The Multiplication Effect of Software Silos 

On the software side, purchasing multiple standalone systems for each business function can also inflate costs including: 

– Integration – connecting siloed systems requires expensive custom development and maintenance. 

– Duplicated capabilities – separate systems overlap in features leading to redundancies. 

– Multiplied licensing – per user fees get multiplied across each platform. 

– Training – each system requires training staff on different platforms and processes. 

– IT overhead – supporting many vendors and systems strains IT resources. 

– Upgrades – synchronizing upgrades across integrated systems compounds effort and disruption. 

– Slowed processes – fragmented systems introduce friction into workflows. 

Data silos – systems that can’t share data directly lead to blindspots. 

While best-of-breed standalone software provides depth of functionality, the lack of interoperability leads to major inefficiency when scaled across the enterprise. 

A study by the Standish Group found that only 6% of software projects are completed on time and on budget.
Hidden Costs of PaperAdditional Expenses with Multiple Software Solutions
Environmental ImpactIntegration Challenges
Storage and RetrievalTraining and Support
Printing and MaintenanceLicenses and Upgrades
Security RisksOpportunity Costs

A few statistics from a PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) study:

 8 hours – the amount of time an employee spends managing paper documents each week

$122 – the cost of finding a single lost document

750 – the number of lost paper documents per year, per mid-size business

The Case for Consolidation  

Transitioning to unified digital platforms for documents and workflows, while requiring some upfront investment, can yield huge long-term cost savings and efficiency gains for organizations.

Going paperless together with software consolidation eliminates the hidden costs and delivers: 

– Instant access to information  

– Accelerated processes   

– Enhanced compliance and security 

– Anytime collaboration  

– Deep visibility into operations 

– Smoother integrations and upgrades 

– Lower IT overhead   

So while paper and software silos have lower superficial costs, consolidating onto integrated digital systems often pays for itself in the long run by eliminating duplications and delivering exponential productivity gains.

The key is taking a holistic view of the total cost of ownership. By consolidating paper records and software systems onto unified platforms, businesses can tap into synergies and multiply the value of their information. 

A: While paper itself is inexpensive, the hidden overhead costs like storage, labor, compliance risks, security issues, lack of backup, and distribution delays multiply the true cost of paper-based processes.

A: Separate software systems lead to integration expenses, redundant capabilities, multiplied licensing, repeated training, overwhelmed IT, disruptive upgrades, slowed processes, and data blindspots.

A: Consolidation eliminates redundancies and delivers instant unified access, streamlined workflows, enhanced compliance, secure enterprise collaboration, total visibility through integrated data, simplified IT, and lower overhead.

A: Eliminating paper storage, distribution, security, compliance, and labor costs results in direct cost savings in addition to massively improved efficiency.

A: Replacing disjointed systems with integrated platforms removes friction and barriers between departments and processes, accelerating workflows.

A: PERFEQTA combines DMS, BPM, ECM, low-code development, collaboration, automation, insights, and more on one unified platform for end-to-end digital transformation.

A: By consolidating information and processes, PERFEQTA eliminates redundancies and unlocks synergies that massively boost productivity, compliance, visibility, and performance.

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