Paper still ‘mission-critical’ in three out of four businesses
Paper is still deeply embedded in corporate culture, as businesses fail to take advantage of digital technology and print management solutions to reduce print and paper costs. In a survey of 1,000 decision-makers by Altodigital, more than three quarters (76%) said the printed page was mission-critical to their business, with just one in 10 (11%) expecting to be paperless in ten years’ time. Half of businesses still don’t track print costs or paper use – even though 73% of businesses have technology in place that allows them to do so and 66% have targets to reduce paper consumption.
As a result, extravagant printing habits persist, with 46% always printing in colour, 39% only printing on one side of the page and 35% regularly printing emails to read. The survey shows that businesses are also failing to make the most of electronic document management, with nine out of 10 respondents storing important documents both electronically and in hard copy and just 40% choosing electronic over hard copy storage.
When asked why they had not become paperless, 45% of respondents said they prefer the convenience of a hard copy document; 30% ‘don’t trust’ storing or using electronic documents; and a third believe a hard copy document has more gravitas than an electronic version. A further 19% thought ‘going paperless’ was too complicated and expensive, while 15% admitted to having a ‘print it out’ culture.
Tony Burnett, group sales director at Altodigital, said: “The paperless office is not a new trend by any means, but as the research shows, we’re seeing real resistance from staff up and down the country when it comes to putting it into practice. This is surprising given the very real benefits of moving towards a paper-free environment, such as significant cost and efficiency savings, not to mention the ability to operate in a greener capacity.”
He added: “Perhaps we need to stop talking about going ‘paperless’ and instead focus on what is realistic; reducing our reliance on the printed page. We call this the ‘paper-less’ environment, and with the right technology and guidance businesses can escape the inefficiencies and limitations of paper-based systems.”
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