Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence

Nov 7, 2014 5:00:00 AM by John Mancini

Note:  Don’t forget to get a copy of our new Industry Research report (free) -- Paper Wars: An Update from the Battlefield.

One would think after 20 years of talking about paperless offices that we would have made more progress than we have. The truth of the matter is that while paper consumption -- and paper infused processes -- are decreasing, the rate of decline is still somewhat slow. Here is a rather telling question that we asked in our most recent paper wars survey.

Would you say that the consumption of paper and/or number of photocopies in your organisation is….

For 56%, it's increasing or staying the same, and it's only decreasing for 44%.

paper consumption declining 

So why is that? Why haven’t we been able to move more quickly the looking to the limit eating the presence of paper in our business process?

I think the answer wise first and foremost with management commitment.   When we asked organizations whether they had a specific policy or maxim to drive paper out of the business, only 35% indicated the presence of such a management directive. I think we can add to this a number of additional reasons. Many people still think that they need physical signatures on paper, and this is a major driver to print things out of digital systems and into analog  form. There is also the change management issue – for longer documents many staff still prefer paper as a means to read or handle longer documents.  And lastly, and this perhaps is where AIIM should do more basic education, there is simply a lack of understanding of what the options are.

change management and paper reduction

For more information on this, don’t forget to get a copy of our new Industry Research report (free) -- Paper Wars:  An Update from the Battlefield.

We'll be doing a webinar on this research next month -- Register today to save a seat...



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