The software department of I-FourC has developed a file in virtual format in 2002. That was the beginning of the mind-set that I-FourC had in mind since her establishment: integrating the strengths of paper into the digital world. This thinking process is the basis of every single solution I-FourC has and will develop. Although it is not my intention to talk about I-FourC and her solutions, the fact that the switch to a digital working environment has so much to do with emotions and values, definitely appeals to me.


Our society is currently situated in a transformation phase. We are in a certain way so used to paper, that our processes, habits and agreements are mainly based on paper. A fact that is hard to leave behind at once. Therefore it is not that surprising that a specific generation will continue to hold on to this. Imagine that – approximately 15/20 years ago – we were working and communicating without mobile phones and the internet.

The digital standard

The generation which is born now, will grow up in a time without knowing better than working digitally. Today’s youth can be counted to this generation as well. Communicating with friends, online shopping and searching for information is todays reality. The emotional connection with paper does not exist for this generation. For most of us, that will be a bit different. As growing up and developing yourself in an environment that revolves around paper is not easy to put aside at once.

Finding balance

I believe that today’s applications and complex technologies are mostly built on digital and numerical situations. Without taking the sense of the user into account. What does the user actually want? In the end, the user would like to work the way he has always done before: simple and familiar. Nevertheless, those users realize that they must anticipate to the future and that some changes could really lead to internal efficiency. It is sometimes difficult to find the correct balance between the unknown and most comfortable way.

The premise of I-FourC is to reflect the paper world into the digital one. We call it: ‘Mapping the real world.’ This principle finds a compromise and creates therewith the best of both worlds. It ensures that both the digital generation as the paper generation is capable to work digital/paperless in a familiar and trusted way. The I-FourC® Virtual File™ is a great example of this in practise. It is an exact copy of reality. Files and documents remain recognizable, with an expand of possibilities.

The role of the human being is extremely important when developing software. That requires empathy. We have a paper-based mind-set, virtualized into the digital world.

Gemeente Venray Maasziekenhuis Pantein Reade GGD Twente

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