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The Paperless Office: Still a dream but set to become reality – Ricoh Europe

by david.nunes

The Paperless Office: Still a dream but set to become reality – Ricoh Europe


There was a story reported on the Wall St Journal Europe’s Tech Blog yesterday, based on a survey from international information professionals organisation, AIIM, questioning whether the paperless office can really ever become a reality. According to the survey, while the exchange of PDF files as e-mail attachments should in theory reduce paperwork volumes, the reality is that over three quarters of those surveyed actually print those PDFs out to read. In addition, 10 per cent of respondents said they actually print out their PDF invoices multiple times. And 10 per cent say they print out at least one copy for archival purposes. 


Ricoh Europe, a global provider of technology and services specialising in Managed Document Services, Production Printing, Office Solutions and IT Services. Ricoh Europe believes that while the paperless office may still be just a vision, this is expected to change dramatically, particularly with a new generation of employees. Recent research from Ricoh Europe surveying 567 global business leaders and examining the future of the workplace found the reality is that today, organisations are still dependent on paper, with 43 per cent of all business critical document processes relying on hard copy data. However, it appears that a significant number believe the vision of the paperless office will become a reality in future. 59 per cent of those surveyed agree that the concept of non-digital information will be utterly foreign to employees by 2020.

According to David Mills Executive Vice President, Operations, Ricoh Europe, “Over the last few years, much has been made of the vision of the ‘paperless office’ – an environment where the volume of paper-based documents produced and stored by businesses are reduced or removed entirely as an impact of digitisation. While it is unlikely that paper will vanish altogether, office workers will still need to write and print to some extent, there is no doubt that exploding volumes of data are bringing a new dimension to the paperless vision and acting as a catalyst for organisations to get closer to this goal.”

David adds, “As the volumes of information in the workplace continue to grow, there are some very practical reasons for organisations to accelerate the digitisation of their business document processes; firstly many businesses no longer have the physical storage space for paper based records and archives. Secondly, in a challenging economic climate, organisations are actively looking to exploit the benefits of more client data to influence customer led innovation and ensure faster business decision making. CIOs are all too aware that a first class approach to information sharing can drive up profits, ensure more agile business operations and empower employees.  Thirdly, the use of less paper should be actively encouraged to reduce environmental impacts and carbon footprint.”



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