Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Problems with cloud computing - and paperless offices

Just at present I am working on site with an organisation that has moved its computer systems to the clouds. It is also replacing its paper based records system with a paperless electronic one. I have been observing the results with interest.

Cloud computing is very popular at the present time. Quite the buzz in fact!

It is easy to forget in all this that the concept is not new. What is new is the scale of application. It is easy to forget, too, that the performance parameters are not new. They are just the same as any other computer system.

I mention this because the single greatest user complaint is simply slowness. Everything just takes more time as compared to either the local WAN or single computer use. The results are quite noticeable.

The mover to the paperless office is interesting, too, because the first apparent effects have actually been an increase in paper usage. The reason for that is a simple one.

With a properly maintained paper file, you can read stuff quickly, see the chronology quickly. With a full electronic system, access becomes more time consuming. People checking documents who see something interesting are more likely to print it off simply because it is easier to do so than to take a note of the document location and then return later. They then throw the printed document out when finished.   

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