The Habit and Safety of Paper

Research indicates that enterprise data, information shared among an organization, expands over 65% every year. Studies also show that non-productive information work, like data entry, processing, filing, and searching/retrieving cost well over $1.5 trillion.   One might think that these statistics stand alone well enough to compel companies into using fully electronic document and records management processes.  However, it’s actually quite the opposite.  Companies still pour millions upon billions into human-dependent, paper to electronic processes.

Sure, many organizations have document management, records retention, electronic conversion systems, or a combination of these and more, already in place.  Yet, it’s surprising how many of them rely heavily on paper-based processes even with access to electronic technologies.  In technology-dependent times, why is paper still being used?  The answer is fairly simple.  There is a habit and safety associated with paper that’s very hard to let go. 

Think about how often you grab a sheet of paper to jot notes from a call, or sketch diagrams and graphs in a meeting.  In everyday scenarios, paper is more useable and accessible than a computer screen.  It’s lightweight and compact enough to shove in a briefcase or file folder for transport, and there’s no technical error potential in retrieving it quickly.  Paper is seemingly trouble-free because for one, we may not be entirely privy to electronic alternatives, and two, there is power in habit.

Habit is a huge contributor in maintaining dependence on paper.  An organization that only uses partial-electronic processes may have a hard time seeing the reason for going any further to an entirely paper-free venture.  There are several reasons.  For starters, there is an investment required to see ROI.  It also takes time and planning to correctly devise and implement a complete system that will truly work for a company.  It’s possible that older, veteran employees are reluctant to adopt new strategies, and we all know the saying, if it’s not broke don’t fix it.

However, most wise and successful businesses know that change and transition are the basis of every company improvement process.   Accepting new technologies and change is critical to a business that wants to adapt to changing market conditions, remain competitive and basically just do what they need to do to keep afloat.  Interested in learning about paperless strategies that deliver custom solutions, impressive ROI and don’t come with a huge learning gap?  Contact ILM today to find out more.

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