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Is A Paperless Office More Fallacy than Reality?
Date: April 23, 2010
Augusta, GA -- In an article today on the Computerworld Australia website, a paperless office may not be entirely realistic, says Bruce Dahlgren, HP’s senior vice president of managed enterprise solutions, imaging and printing group. He feels the more accurate reality is that “‘the way people print and copy is changing.’”
A survey conducted by HP of their 2600 MPS clients located all over the world “showed that 84 percent of print and copy jobs were three pages or less.” This is just one indication that while things are not totally paperless, the dissemination and distribution of information is happening electronically with a higher and higher frequency. Despite this trend, Dahlgren is still not convinced.
The HP MPS service overall is worth about $5.5 billion and tallies 18.5 billion pages printed each annually. Despite potential competition from Dell, HP still has a firm hold on 40% of the market share in Australia.
It is important to realize that the overarching goal of MPS is not to eliminate printing, but to make it more efficient. This involves eliminating unnecessary printers and controlling the number of pages printed. and the amount of ink used. Dahlgren observed a shift from a printer being shared among just a few people, to a printer being shared by upwards of 15 people.
There are some companies who have managed to get away from printers altogether like Melbourne-based Kogan Technologies, an OEM consumer electronics store that functions as an online business only. All of their products are distributed by warehouses that are not owned by them and are all paperless as is the head office.
For Kogan Technologies, being paperless ensures that they don’t have to worry about overhead costs. All of their documents are kept online through a variety of Google cloud services and hosted data centers. Another key factor in being paperless is that they always have been. There was no need for a transition, which for many companies who want to go paperless, is a large stumbling block. The head of Kogan technologies, Ruslan Kogan believes that,“the initial outlay would be easily made up through the resulting efficiency savings.”
BY ADAM HAIGH, Editor
Paperless Office Still Unlikely, According To Report
According to an entry on The Recycler website, OKI Systems (UK) recently conducted a survey regarding printing habits in office environments and used the results to create an infographic. Based on the results, it appears among their respondents that we are still quite a ways away from a paperless future.
Perhaps surprisingly, the delay in a paperless future is not because of offices printing reports and such daily, rather it is due to employees choosing to print their own personal documents in the office. According to the results, 70% of the respondents admitted they had done it, and 9% went so far as to admit that they used office printers for their own needs at least once daily. When asked about why they chose to print personal documents at work, 37% gave the reason as convenience, and 38% reported it was due to their lack of a printer at home.
Also part of the infographic produced by OKI Systems was that 24% of employees reported that they brought their own mobile devices to work. Of this group, almost half (45%) said that they used their devices to print to office equipment.
Switching now from print behavior to print management, just over a quarter (27%) said that their office had a print management strategy in place designed to reduced paper and energy costs. The infographic by OKI proposes that as much as 30% in savings could be realized, should offices choose to implement a print management strategy. Close to two-thirds (61%) of those surveyed admitted that no one was responsible for turning off their office printers, which illustrates that there is still work to be done regarding basic energy savings strategies and behaviors.Graham Lowes of OKI states, “‘It’s clear that the blurring of home and office time, brought on by the rise in mobile working, is having an impact on an organisation’s printing needs. A managed document solutions provider such as OKI can offer the expertise needed to bring office printing into the 21st century, while making significant cost and energy savings. ’”
Previously, this past November, The Recycler reported on the findings of analyst firm AIIM that showed that one in five businesses have actually increased the amount of paper they use, despite more than half of those (56%) indicating they have an existing environmental impact policy which encourages reduced paper use.