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Xerox Study Suggests Paper Usage Will Fade Significantly by 2018
March 4, 2016
Over the last few months, we have debated and reported on the suggestions of some that paper still has a fairly relevant place in the conversation about office supplies and consumables. OEM giant Xerox recently released the results of a survey they conducted which they say showed that overall less than 10% of offices will rely on paper by as soon as 2018. The survey which was given to 600 IT decision makers across North America and Western Europe showed that data is at the very core of business today, and it can be a challenge to find "insightful, actionable intelligence". Xerox’s "Digitization at Work" reveals that the move from paper to digital is rapidly approaching and despite this, many of the respondents admitted they were not ready.
Among the biggest concerns for respondents were the both the cost and security of paper-based processes which were acknowledged by 42% of respondents as primary issues. Data also showed that nine percent of key operation processes will be left running on paper in the next two years. Despite this statistic, more than half of the respondents reported that overall much of their organizations’ processes were mainly or entirely paper-based. Further, close to a third of respondents (29 percent) still communicate with customers through paper rather than email or social channels. Interestingly enough, while 41% of the respondents recognize the fact that moving to a digital workflow will help cut costs, and 87% have the skills necessary, the hesitation to make the shift still lingers.
Andy Jones, vice president, Workflow Automation, Large Enterprise Operations, Xerox, said, "Organizations foresee a lean and agile digital future, but current business processes are still weighed down by paper. The disconnect between an organization?s vision and the steps required to achieve successful digital transformation has stalled the promise of digitization."
Close to 75% of the respondents have already determined possible areas where automation could be used. Among these that could be fully automized are accounting (38%), expense reporting (37%), accounts payable (36%), and customer care (35%). However, the results show that many organizations have yet to adopt automation and digital workflows for important business functions. For instance:
Moving forward, Xerox strongly encourages organizations to digitize or re-engineer paper-based processes before attempting to completely automate them. For instance, says Xerox, analyzing employee print habits can potentially reveal where opting for more digitization can help reduce paper usage. Overwhelmingly 90% of respondents reported they already had the necessary tools in place to analyze printing behavior, however half of them are actually using those tools to their full potential.
As part of its managed print services offerings, Xerox has now in place the option for customers to begin workflow automation. The OEM is also working on plans to bring automation tools to the rest of its businesses including customer care centers, finance and accounting processes, and the healthcare sector.