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

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.

[We're doing a webinar on all of this on December 10 -- Free -- details HERE.]

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%.

Paperless legal finance

 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 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.

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A recent keynote that I did on the “Six Paperless Dilemmas” can be found HERE.  

About John Mancini

John Mancini, president and CEO of AIIM, is an author, speaker, and respected leader of the AIIM global community of information professionals. He is a catalyst in social, mobile, cloud, and big data technology adoption and an advocate for the new generation of experts who are driving the future of information management. John predicts that the next three years will generate more change in the way we deploy enterprise technologies and whom we trust with this task than in the previous two decades. His passion about the evolution of information workers into information analysts spurred John to establish the Certified Information Professional (CIP) program to enable anyone, anywhere to benchmark and develop new and strategic skills. His commitment to education includes the continual development of leading-edge training and publishing of ongoing industry research to help guide new thinking. As a frequent keynote speaker, John offers his expertise on the transformational challenges and opportunities facing information professionals and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually to his blog Digital Landfill. He has published six e-book titles including “#OccupyIT — A Technology Manifesto for Cloud, Mobile and Social Era” and the popular “8 Things You Need to Know About” e-book series. He has a Klout score in the high 60s, is ranked #5 in online SharePoint influence by harmon.ie and #42 in the KnowledgeLake SharePoint Influencer50. John can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77.