Printing Less Requires Extra Steps For SMBs - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Business/E-Business
Commentary
5/28/2010
11:45 AM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
How Upwork Cut Zero-Day File Attacks by 70%
Oct 05, 2017
Upwork has millions of clients and freelancers that have to upload and download many files to and ...Read More>>

Printing Less Requires Extra Steps For SMBs

Many SMBs are using less paper, indicates a recent survey, and the first step can be as simple as getting larger monitors. But that cant be the only step.

Many SMBs are using less paper, indicates a recent survey, and the first step can be as simple as getting larger monitors. But that cant be the only step.According to a recent IDC survey, 31 percent of enterprises with fewer than 100 employees have a formal plan to reduce their use of paper, and the figure rises to 62.5 percent for those with 5,000 of more employees. And whatever they're doing appears to be working: 54 percent of respondents in enterprises smaller than 100 employees reported using fewer paper documents than last year. The rate rose to 59 percent for enterprises with more than 5,000 employees.

As for how to cut the use of paper, a big step, according to Nuance, is to get bigger monitors. Users will be able to view documents on-line with no particular eyestrain, cutting the temptation to make printouts. Prices of monitors continue to drop, they note.

But to view documents on the monitor, they have to be in digital format. Nuance (which sells scanning software) further recommends making scanning capabilities available throughout the organization by using multi-function printers (which Nuance does not make). Anyone should be able to scan, they say, and having the person who is most familiar with the data doing the scanning should improve productivity and workflow (and, presumably, accuracy.)

Specifically, paper documents should be scanned with optical character recognition (OCR) software into a searchable, editable format, such as Word or Excel, to unlock the information it contains. Existing PDF files should also be converted into editable, searchable formats. (Nuance makes conversion software, also.)

It all sounds fine in theory, but OCR can be an adventure in catching weird typographical errors caused by seemingly random misrecognition. Meanwhile, paper documents stuffed into a filing cabinet and forgotten are still likely to remain usable one, three, five, 15, or even 50 years from now. Sadly, that is not the case with data on your hard drive.

So going digital and putting paper behind you doubtless offers near-term advantages, but requires some planning and organization to avoid long-term catastrophe.

In the meantime, getting bigger monitors sounds great.

Don't Miss: Do Brag About Going Green

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll