Digital Files in Administration: “Old habits die hard”

In public administration, the introduction of digital files keeps running into misgivings and reservations. Most of these are not founded in logic, as online magazine Kommune 21 recently determined in an article. Usually, they have much more to do with prejudices – prejudices that would be easy to disarm with arguments, if they weren’t so ingrained.

 

Paper Files Have Served Their Purpose

“Old habits die hard,” as they say, and change can be a tough and even painful process. As Kommune 21 rightly found, paper files today are nothing if not an old habit. They originated at the end of the 19th century. They are certainly no longer capable of meeting the diverse challenges facing modern administration, which include growing floods of data and managing modern communication media. As the author determined, the only way for paper files to retain the importance and usefulness they had 150 years ago would be if businesses printed out all their important e-mails and data to file them away. But who would want that?

 

Introducing Digital Files Efficiently

By now it must be clear – digital files are more than just “nice to have;” in today’s business world, they’re doubtlessly an indispensable “must.” But instead of concentrating on how to introduce digital files into administration efficiently, or how to create digital files that are uniform and available for all professional divisions – in many branches, scepticism still reigns. Or, to put it in the author’s own words: “Opinions of digital files are often coloured by apprehensions, opinions, and impressions, and do not have much to do with concrete knowledge. This needs to change, quickly.”