A new survey among IT professionals in Ireland and the UK has found that 86 per cent of senior IT professionals are still reliant on paper records, with over half of these (51 per cent ) stating that they are very reliant. Just one per cent of respondents stated that they “hardly ever” have to rely on paper records while the remaining 13 per cent admitted being “occasionally reliant”. The research was carried out by document management software company Version One among 86 senior IT professionals across a range of UK and Irish public and private sector organisations.
The results also showed that senior IT professionals have mixed ideas on what would persuade them to dispense with paper records in favour of implementing an electronic document management (EDM ) system. Thirty-two per cent said they would most likely switch to EDM in order to improve customer service while 20 per cent admitted that receiving assurances that electronic documents are legally permissible with government bodies would be a key driver for eliminating paper.
The remaining 48 per cent indicated they would be persuaded to move away from paper records if they were assured of document security, customer service benefits, legislative admissibility and environmental benefits.
“It is astonishing that so many IT professionals still rely heavily on paper documents,” said Julian Buck, managing director of Version One. “Electronic document management systems considerably reduce the amount of paper that organisations produce, circulate and store whilst providing instant electronic access to imaged documents. The benefits of EDM include significant cost and time savings and greatly enhanced customer service. In addition, as electronic documents are legally permissible, organisations should not feel obligated to hold on to paper documents ‘just in case’.”
The environmental benefits of going paperless are also clear, Buck added. “Document management reduces the printing, photocopying and posting of documents, which are all huge carbon generators and so provide a compelling proposition for all type and size of organisation.”