Going digital – what is your target date?

A paperless office is a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced and this is achieved by converting documents and other papers into digital form.

The paperless office was a publicist’s slogan from 1964 that was intended to describe the office of the future. It was facilitated by the popularisation of video display computer terminals like the 1964 IBM 2260.

The benefits of a paperless office include:

  • Once computer data is printed on paper, it becomes out-of-sync with computer database updates.
  • Paper is difficult to search and arrange in multiple sort arrangements.
  • Paper data stored in multiple locations is often difficult and costly to track and update.
  • A paperless office would have a single-source collection point for distributed database updates.
  • Printing inks and toners are very expensive and use environment-damaging volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and non-renewable oils.
  • Eliminating paper via automation and electronic forms saves the environment.
  • Digital signature solutions – To digitally sign documents (used by end-users)
  • Use of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to search the full text of any file.
  • Easier to secure than traditional filing cabinets, and can track individual accesses to each document.

Nearly half of small/medium-sized businesses believe they are or could go paperless by the end of 2018.


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