I got into a fender bender a few weeks back. My 99’ Buick was worth so little that the insurance company totaled it rather than replacing the bumper and left headlight. So, car shopping commenced.
Aside from mild sticker shock at a few cars I looked at, I was truly baffled at something else at that car dealership. The papers.
Seriously, I think I signed 50 pieces of paper. My file was so thick that the finance guy had to clip it all together with one of those scary barracuda-looking contraptions that would take the jaws of life to dislodge. At one point, he even sat me in front of a beige computer, a 90s’ dinosaur, to print out my proof of income on a dot matrix printer. Hadn’t he gotten the electronic pay stubs that I emailed?
“I can’t believe all this paper,” I told him. “Our office is paperless. We don’t even have a printer.”
He fiddled with his papers. He opened and closed his filing cabinet even more times and the line of people waiting to fill out their 50 pieces of paper burgeoned.
“Yeah, the car industry hasn’t quite caught up,” he said.
In many regards, the insurance industry is not fairing much better. And don’t get me wrong. I get the passion for paper. Holding something, and having it in your possession has always made us feel more secure. But having reams of paper, and files can actually be a risk and a huge time drain that keeps you from doing more tangible things. Like shaking hands, and creating and maintaining relationships with clients.
Going paperless can not only save you a lot of money, getting off the ground–and “in the cloud,” as starry-eyed tech companies like to say–is a way to cut out most of your IT costs.
What could you have bought with the money that you spent on your server? Cloud computing eliminates the need to have one.
Cloud computing automates stuff that used to mean a lot of paper shuffling. Online data backup replaces the need for hard filing. Online desktop management means that you could literally throw away your desk and work from your tablet instead. And with online file sharing, you don’t ever have to print a report again.
Anytime you hire a new employee, open a branch, or get someone set up remotely, with cloud computing, you can ditch the costs of buying software packages and paying your IT person to set everything up. And you never have to worry about the security of your data, the risk of lost information, data breeches and resulting lawsuits.
Cashing in on modern tech solutions is in some ways an act of letting go. And I know all about letting go. I still like to take my Buick for drives sometimes.
But you know what I like more?
Driving my new car.