When it comes to work, everyone seems to be used to the paper workflow in either doing report, archiving information or as backup. It was estimated employees in US spent about a trillion sheets of paper each year by photocopying or printing, and the number will increase to 1.6 trillion if the other paper will be used, such as payment bills, etc.
This is why the personal computer maker HP (HP Inc.) recently agreed to buy Samsung Electronics’ printer division. HP representative said the company’s share in the large office printer only 5% in the market, and this acquisition can integrate Samsung technology for new devices, and then create many foreseeing opportunities.
However, according to a researcher 40 years ago, we should have entered paperless era. Arthur D. Little analyst in 1975, published an article in BusinessWeek pointed out that since 1980, the use of paper will gradually reduce, and by 1990, it will be only a few people using paper.
However, InfoTrends analyst Shane pointed out that in reality, the amount of paper consumed by the office until 2007 to reach the peak.
We are not entering the era of paperless office yet but it does not mean that we will never enter the paperless office era. In the past few years, office paper usage has steadily declined by about 1% to 2% each year, and in the recent years we have 10% less photocopies and prints in the office than before. This trend in reducing the amount of paper is clearly driven by the rise of tablet PCs and mobile devices, but the trend is coming later than everyone expected. It is because the workflow in companies and organisations’ structures are more complex and much more difficult to implement paperless without procedure changes and require associated software to accomplish this task. The speed of accepting this change is very slow. As there will be additional cost involved to upgrade their entire system as well as change the workflow, and the budget for this process is usually not a priority. Generally speaking, the paperless process for small and medium-sized businesses is the slowest.
Another reason is because using paper for workflow is convenient. Compare to all other functional technology, the use of paper is the lightest, and the cheapest.
However, there still some progress improvement for companies in implementing paperless offices. The data show that the paper will gradually be replaced. Office paper usage will decline by 1% to 2% per year, but this is still a very large market. For example, Bahrns Equipment, a company that specializes in the sale of stacker and garden equipment. The representation said that when she started in the company back in 1987, they only equipment they have a “super big” computer, and they will only use this computer once a month.
On the other hand, every technician working in Bahrn is carrying an iPad or smartphone, and they use the cloud software to connect and sharing the data with everyone.
With the use of cloud software office has gradually become the norm, we may find their way to deal with things will not be the same.