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August 08, 2013

'AIIM' for a Paperless Workplace

By Kelsey Brown, TMCnet Contributing Writer

While many people stand as friends to the environment, the business world seems set on maintaining its acquaintance status with Mother Nature, as the dream of the paperless office remains just that: a dream. In a recent study conducted by AIIM, “the global community of information professionals” found that 74% of its survey respondents have business processes that don’t require the use of paper, but only 24% of respondents know exactly how to go about creating a paperless workplace.

AIIM’s findings go on to show that many offices and workplaces have secured a handle on scanning their own documents. Rather, the problem lies within companies’ struggle to manage files that come in from the outside. These outsider documents, AIIM notes, cause issues for most enterprises by slowing down their internal processes.

Image via Shutterstock

AIIM is not the only organization to notice the problem with underutilizing mobile capture. Companies like Kofax and Moscow-based ABBYY have also acknowledged the benefits of doing away with paper-involved systems. The latter of the two highlights on its site the many pros to mobile capture, which include speedier transactions and reduced processing costs. ABBYY also makes the point that “any organization leveraging on mobile capture solutions automatically increases customer loyalty through better service and faster reaction times in case of payments or feedback.”

Even still, enterprises continue to exhibit reluctance when faced with the idea of wholly doing away with paper processes. AIIM suspects that much of this hesitance focuses on the electronic signature. Though paper-based processes remain difficult to maintain, prevent remote access to documents, and instigate hefty costs, companies fear that the e-signature will not be legally acceptable across the board, and thus, paper processes remain in place.

However, AIIM argues that the e-signature has been legally standardized by many authorities for 10 years already, and that, while legal departments and financial managers and administrators may be against e-signatures, C-level executives are four times more likely to prefer a paperless workplace. Therefore, AIIM concludes that C-level executives need to push this movement forward, with a focus on three main factors: capture maturity, the digital mailroom, and of course, paper-free processes. With that and by paying attention to where document capture often takes place, we may begin to see fewer fees and more trees.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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