Paperless Dilemma No. 2 – Legal Limbo
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on November 10th, 2014

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Paperless Dilemma No. 2 – Legal Limbo

Paperless Office

The second in my series of six issues relative to getting rid of paper focuses on what I call Legal Limbo. See also…

  1. Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence

One of the things that surprises me a good deal in doing seminars around the country on content management is that many people still do not quite understand that, in most instances, scanned documents are legal replacements for paper. We have had the E-Signature Act for probably 10 years now, and yet printing paper in order to assign signatures is still a very common practice.

I think we need to do a better job of convincing the skeptics -- especially in finance and administration -- that getting rid of paper need not oppose legal challenges. When we ask the question, “Which departments in your organization would you say are the most resistant to the introduction of paper-free working?” The results are pretty predictable. Legal is at the top of the list among 37% of the organizations surveyed, followed by finance with 33%, and HR with 21%.

Most resistant departments to paper-free working.

Another data point in the “Legal Limbo Sweepstakes” relates to what happens to documents after they are scanned. In our recent paper wars survey, for 61% of organizations, half or more of scanned documents are not destroyed after scanning. Pretty astounding considering that we have been doing this for twenty plus years

I am reminded of a visit recently to a service company that was scanning hundreds of thousands of documents for the customer. All of the paper files were coming in on pallets through the back door, being scanned, and then loaded back on the pallets and shipped right back to off-site storage. Clearly, there is some education needed in this process.

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.


Free Tip Sheet: Prioritize Your Paper-Free Efforts For Maximum ROI

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.