Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Paperless Office Nearer Reality

According to the report "The Paper Free Office - dream or reality?" (by Doug Miles, AIIM, February 2012), some progress has been made with reducing paper in the office. The report is available free from AIIM (1.3 Mbyte PDF 28 Pages). The report finds that the consumption of paper and the number of photocopies is decreasing many organizations, but many borne digital documents end up being printed and then scanned back in at some time during their lifetime. The report is useful, but not without flaws, for example the report confuses digital signatures with digitized signatures.
Key Findings
  • There is less paper floating around the office – especially in the biggest organizations. The consumption of paper and the number of photocopies is decreasing in 35% of organizations, whereas it is increasing in 32%. In the largest organizations, the net proportion of respondents posting a decrease is 15%.
  • Electronic-only filing would halve the storage space needed for paper in 5 years. The average proportion of office space taken up by paper is now 15.3%, and it would drop to 7.4% with an all-electronic filing policy, a saving of nearly 8% in overall office costs.
  • On average, 45% of documents that are scanned are 100% “born digital” – just as they came from the printer. And many of the rest would be all-digital if not for the added signatures.
  • 77% of invoices that arrive as PDF attachments get printed. 31% of faxed invoices get printed and scanned back in. On average, 30% of invoices arrive as PDF attachments, and 15% as faxes.
  • 41% of organizations in the survey are using some form of digital-mailroom, either as a centralized operation or distributed at branch offices. 4% are outsourced.
  • 20% of organizations scan half or more of their inbound mail at or before entry. A further 20% are more likely to scan at the point-of-process, and 29% scan-to-archive after the process.
  • Improved sharability and searchability is the biggest driver for investment in scanning and capture. Followed by improved productivity and reduced storage space.
  • On average, respondents using scanning and capture consider that it improves the speed of response to customers, suppliers, citizens or staff by 6-times or more. 70% estimate an improvement of at least 3-times, and nearly a third (29%) see an improvement of 10-times or more.
  • 42% of users have achieved a payback period of 12 months or less from their scanning and capture investments. 57% are posting a payback of 18-months or less.
  • A net of 13% of respondents plan to increase their use of bureaus or document process outsource (DPO), particularly in Europe (net 21%). But only a net of 1% will be increasing their offshore activities.
  • 38% of respondents have employees equipped to use portable devices to capture documents or forms when not at their desks. Over 14% are using portable scanners for forms and supporting documents. 6% are using smartphones or tablets, including 4% who use OCR to capture data at the device.
  • Over half of those using portable devices capture signatures, either by scanning (30%), stylus (11%) or using a digital signature app (21%).
  • Speed of data availability and keeping paper out of the process are given as the biggest advantages of mobile capture, followed by better data accuracy and fewer lost or incomplete forms.
  • 12% of respondents are committed to a strategy of cloud deployment of capture – rising to 20% of the largest organizations. 18% overall have firmly decided against it and 39% are waiting for a company decision on cloud in general (27%), or capture specifically (12%).
  • Spending predictions indicate a considerable increase in spend on capture software, including mobile capture and as a front-end to SharePoint. A net of 23% of responding organizations indicate increased spend for the next 12 months. Spend on scanners is set to be stable, while spend on outsourcing is set to decrease. ...
From: The Paper Free Office - dream or reality?, Doug Miles, AIIM, February 2012

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