More importantly, the key to the success of the paperless office is through the critical mass of businesses who share the same mindset and goal. If not, there will be compatibility issues between businesses who operate online and those who operate offline.
Despite today's constant push toward tech-enabled-everything, few offices have been able to convert to a completely paper-free way of doing business. Many companies today, especially the legal, banking and logistics industries, continue to rely on paper to complete customer business transactions. Contracts and legal documents have to be reviewed and endorsed on paper. A study by Nitro revealed that 99 percent of employees still review printed documents. So how relevant is the paper in today's mobile generation?
The reassuring answer is that the paper still holds several business benefits including the flexibility to be integrated into a digital system. For example, using paper for specific tasks and then digitising them using Canon's flatbed scanners could save businesses time and money in some instances. Another key consideration is that purchasing and integrating digital document creation tools and storage solutions, critical tools in migrating to a paperless office, could be both costly and time consuming.
Is the paper truly dead?
Paper is often associated with being old fashioned, wasteful, expensive, irrelevant, and a dead end. However, it would appear that the discussion isn't a battle between going paperless or not. Instead, I believe the reality is that technology is helping the paper to evolve.
For example, Canon's PIXMA All-In-One printers are Google Cloud Print enabled, allowing users to print from any web-connected device, anywhere in the world. With the number of mobile workers on the rise, this capability will enable users to securely share printers with clients, streamlining the business process and increasing business efficiency.
Another example of how technology is changing the stereotype of paper is Managed Document Services where the entire document output process from archiving, business workflows, environmental impact, and data security is outsourced and optimised. This reflects the changing nature of the office technology market and the increasing importance placed on effective design and management of critical business processes.
Canon recently launched its Canon Business Services by enabling organisations to outsource information intensive processes, communications and administrative functions. Through this end-to-end service, businesses will find value through labour productivity, compliance and quality management, material economies of scale, and cost savings through process change.
Beyond the technology, Canon is also an advocate for businesses to empower and engage employees to help them "Do More Work Less", through up-skilling of employees to expand their versatility and allow a better work life balance. Companies can also help create a conducive environment to encourage higher performance so that employees are committed, believing that their productivity improvement makes a different, both for the company and their personal lives.
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