Thursday, January 3, 2013

Paperless office in Techcrunch ("paperless coalition")

paperless office
paperless office (Photo credit: thaths)
Just yesterday there was a post in Techcrunch about the paperless office, something we just wrote about today and, as many people comment on Techcrunch, has been around forever.
I especially liked one comment:

I've been in the photocopier, printer, fax business for over 30 years. I've seen these paperless office ideas come and go for the entire time. In the mid/late 80's there was the governments "paperwork reduction act" that increased my volumes. Then, the government passed the HIPPA law and my volumes increased. A few years ago, the entire industry went to a multi-connected device that can scan, fax, copy, print...people were suppose to scan their documents instead of printing them. My volumes went up again. Every time the government comes out with new rules, changes the laws, my volumes go UP, not down. Most of it, in my opinion is that bureaucrats, be they in private companies or government, "need" paperwork to justify their jobs. Also, you run into the old problem with "we've always done it that way" people. In the early 80's as fax machines became popular, people would not purchase them, because they always had a messenger service. Now we can't get them to use scan to email because...yep, you guessed it, "we've always had a fax machine". People are comfortable with paperwork for some odd reason, even though 99% of it probably ends up in a shredder somewhere. Even though my business is paper, I keep all of my documents on PDF, if for anything else, they are SEARCHABLE instead of having to FIND it in a pile of papers.
Exactly another good point on the ability to search fast on digital vs slow on paper. This adds up to the over explained space (the room that physical paper takes) or ability to send (seconds vs hours or days with a messenger).

There are many initiatives, many more to come, about going paperless. And it's not a matter of all of them being wrong, or failing.

Paper use keeps growing, but document management systems, document capture, cloud file sharing tools like Dropbox or Google Drive are making great progress on the software side. And the iPads, smartphones etc. have made huge progress on the hardware and physical interface side.


Paperless office
Paperless office (Photo credit: Dimi15)

Besides initiatives like the "Paperless Coalition" we need to ease the use of digital formats to all society and countries to make it more appealing than paper. We are on our way, but there needs to be better business centric applications that are document intensive. This gets done as BPM and ECM become more and more integrated.

Popular posts:
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Comparing ECM Systems (including Alfresco, OpenText, Documentum, Filenet, Sharepoint or Nuxeo).

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