As businesses start coming around to the idea that a paperless office is preferable to a paper-reliant one, they are turning to document management software (DMS) systems for great filing solutions that are entirely digital. DMS systems like eFileCabinet’s offer intuitive interfaces, seamless integration with other software, uncompromising security, automatic file backup to the Cloud, and easy-to-use and fully searchable scanning capacities to drastically improve organization, communication, and client satisfaction. The right DMS can streamline an organization’s workflows, eliminate inefficient communication, and support compliance with a number of industry-specific standards and regulations. Yet, businesses have been relatively slow to make the transition to paperless document management. So the question remains: what prevents organizations from buying in to such a clearly beneficial technology?

This article will take a look at the psychological biases that can impact a business’s decision-making for the worse and prevent DMS adoption.

Features and Benefits of DMS

Imagine you’re trying to track down a particular document, perhaps or the minutes from a meeting last year. You talk to the person that was originally in charge of the document, but they can’t help you because they moved offices last month and their files are a mess. They direct you to the company’s storage room and give you a vague description of what the article is and where it can be found. When you get to there, you find out that they’ve been in the middle of re-organizing the filing cabinets for weeks and that no one knows where anything is anymore. You spend three days wading through the files until, finally, you find the place where it should have been, except that the item you’re looking for was never filed at all. Maybe someone forgot it, or it got lost between your coworker’s desk and the filing cabinet. Maybe it never even existed.

Avoiding the frustration that comes with paper filing systems is just one of the benefits a DMS system can offer. With a DMS, you can easily locate documents with the help of metadata tags, and eFileCabinet’s audit trails brings transparency to office processes by allowing you to see when a document was created, accessed, and edited, and by whom.

It’s not difficult to recognize the financial benefits that come with the improved organization a DMS provides. Paper is a major expense for companies, an expense that could easily be reduced, if not eliminated altogether. This is, of course, to say nothing of the environmental benefits of reducing paper consumption, which accounts for a huge percentage of the deforestation all over the world.

Why the Slow Adoption of DMS?

So why haven’t all business turned to a DMS in order to transition to paper document management? Prospect theory might have the answer. Developed by economists to describe behaviors associated with risk, the theory says that people make decisions based on the values of their potential losses and gains, rather than the final outcome.

One interesting thing about this theory is that it is descriptive rather than normative, which means that it tries to base itself on real-life choices rather than optimal decisions. So, how does prospect theory relate to DMS? Well, imagine that you run a company. You have been using paper documentation for a long time, and it works. You are offered an opportunity to switch to a paperless document management system. Sure, you might now save money on the paper you won’t be using, but you’ll also have to pay for the new system to be implemented, and you’ll have to get all of your employees trained in how to use it. That might affect the quality of your business, which might in turn affect your profits.

Suddenly, the new DMS system doesn’t seem so great; but what’s missing from this line of thinking? It’s simple – just like prospect theory says, you’re thinking short-term, and are neglecting the long-term benefits that will outweigh interim losses. As the popular idiom goes, the pain of losing is ten times worse than the joy of winning.

Adopt DMS Today

Overcome the compulsion to give greater weight to immediate losses when making important business decisions. Chat with a representative today to learn more about the benefits eFileCabinet can offer your organization.