Managing paper documents can be a serious impediment to productivity. One study found that the average office worker spends close to a week’s worth of business time looking for misplaced items, and the average executive wastes nearly six weeks every year just searching for papers. The migration from a paper office to a digital workspace began over two decades ago with the mainstream launch of Microsoft Office. Today, a significant chunk of work gets done over digital ‘productivity’ software applications like MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
But given the sheer number of digital documents that get created every day, the incremental improvements from such productivity tools have started slowing down. Time spent looking up paper documents is today replaced by workers spending time and money searching for document templates, managing version controls and collaborating with the various stakeholders so that all of them are literally on the same page.
The cloud has simplified a lot of these issues. Microsoft Office 365 and similar tools from the likes of Google and Zoho are deployed on the cloud. This helps businesses ensure that the same version of the document shows up at any point of time. Not only this, hosting and sharing documents on the cloud also protects your business from losing critical data due to a storage failure.
But while managing the documents itself has become easier, creating them has stayed virtually the same. Office workers continue to lose critical work hours finding the right template to use, making sure the brand assets are synchronized across the enterprise, and also building the visual assets that form a critical component of document making.
Businesses that rely extensively on Microsoft Office 365 for document management can be assisted by third party platform builders. A service like Templafy can consolidate all your business assets in one centralized server. This way, workers can ensure that they can pull in the latest brand templates, logos and other assets without having to worry about inadvertently choosing the wrong templates.
In addition to this, workers can also quick-launch Word or Powerpoint templates so that they do not have to build these designs from scratch. If your workers use an abundance of visual materials (charts, maps, etc.) in their presentations, Templafy lets them load these template designs instantly. This saves a lot of hours spent creating and searching for these dodcuments. Thanks to the cloud, these assets can be loaded right in the Office 365 window so that there is no real need to toggle between these various services during content creation.
One overlooked aspect of integrating these various products on the cloud is the time saved with deploying assets. Traditional asset management systems required workers to upload templates to one central repository which may then be downloaded and then re-uploaded into the various documents where these assets are required. While the process itself is not complex, it can be a time sink especially in organizations and industries that handle large-sized files. With API integration between cloud-based services, the same deployment can happen with just a click of the button. Workers do not have to really spend time downloading and re-uploading files.
Finally, centralized template management systems like Templafy also ensure access control. With legacy systems, documents could be easily shared over flash drives with unauthorized third party users. Since all document management is over the cloud, templates and files are encrypted and permissions may be assigned to specific users so that the threat of files being leaked to unauthorized users is minimized.
The cloud has made productivity software tools a lot more efficient and trustworthy. Does your business spend a significant amount of resources on brand compliance and template management? Share your experiences with cloud software tools in the comments below.