Paper creates obstacles. And, since you aren’t a fan of paper obstacles, you signed on to digitize your workflows. Check! But that was years ago. (And if you haven’t digitized your workflow, find out how much that will cost). Fast forward a few years and, as a savvy systems administrator, you recognize that there are still paper bottlenecks happening. And you aim to stop them, by golly!
Paper doesn't just harm the environment and your company’s productivity—and therefore your revenue—paper also harms your reputation: 87% of consumers surveyed say they look more positively on a company if they run 100% paper free. And that's how you want your customers to see your company.
Your company made the switch to digital and you haven’t looked back. Things are more productive than ever, you’re saving money hand over fist in your new smaller space (because all those archived documents converted into invisible files that don’t require a 3000 square foot facility), and your data security is lock-tight—oh yeah!
COVID-19 crashed down overnight in March of 2020 and it was an eye opener for businesses still running on paper. Staff left the office to work from home, but they found themselves dead in the water. There was no way to access the paper documents locked at the office.
You know that ditching paper is the right thing to do for your business. You know that a digital process will work better, that your staff will be more productive, and that you’ll be able to downsize your office space—or work remotely—if you scan all that old information down to zero by digitizing it.
It’s surprising how many businesses still run on paper (82% to be precise). We live in an age where technology has created bots that automate repetitive tasks and artificial intelligence streamlines workflows—but that’s not happening across the business world. Not even close. In fact, it looks like paper usage is set to go up by 0.5% until 2022. Up! That’s crazy.
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Startups do things digitally. But companies that have been around for decades largely don’t. It seems impossible to believe, but 82% of companies are still paper-based.
“With all the lip service paid to innovation, it’s astounding that most businesses still use technology invented more than 2,000 years ago. We’ve entered the era of 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and missions to Mars — yet only 18 percent of companies consider themselves paperless.”
With cloud servers and apps like Monday, Trello, and Evernote replacing paper calendars, notebooks, and whiteboards, it seems crazy to think that less than 20% of all companies in 2020 operate digitally. Not so crazy, though, when you consider that computers weren’t even part of the office environment 40 years ago.
Let’s take a look at the brief history of paper to digital documentation and nail down when paper processes will finally go digital.
New employee: “I can’t find the printer and I need to print something.”
Coworker: “We don’t have one. And no you don’t.”
Startups do things digitally.
Invoices, receipts, and business cards are digital. Any paper that does come in—usually from the government—gets digitized and put in the cloud and that paper is recycled immediately. Post its and wall-hanging calendars are replaced by apps like Monday and Trello and Teamwork. Notebooks swap for task managers. Clutter disappears and productivity soars.