Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Where is the Paperless Office?

Yes, while most people do their spring cleaning before the Lunar New Year, I only just got around to clean up my office desk on the 12th day of the new year. Rearranged the PC, tidied up the cabling, etc. I don’t know how long the cleanliness will last. My desk does tend to get cluttered with lots of papers, files, gadgets, etc.

It’s not that I’m so free that I’ve got nothing better to do. It’s just something that I had to get done sooner or later. Even though we’re IT people, the “paperless office” is far from reality. There will always be paper.

Can you imagine this: We used to have a procurement system based on manual paper workflows. An electronic procurement system came along that completely replaced the need for paper. However, the finance people felt uncomfortable, so they created a completely new manual paper workflow that perfectly mirrored the electronic system. They just had to have paper.

It’s funny to see the reaction from my finance colleagues when I submit email invoices, PDF invoices, and other things in electronic form. They go like “eh, can you submit the original?”

Electronic cannot be original?

(Reminds me of the confusion I caused at Changi Airport when I flew with an e-ticket and self-printed e-boarding-pass many years ago. It was a pretty new thing then. I’ll save this story for another day.)

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