Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on November 7th, 2014

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Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence

Paperless Office

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.

How is the consumption of paper and/or the number of photocopies in your organization changing? 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?

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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

How to Get Paper Out of Your Business Processes

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


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About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.