Email could encourage paperless communications but the paperless office is no closer - we are still going to print it all out.
Few companies can envisage a time when the paperless office is a reality concludes a survey of 100 IT managers, commissioned for document management company AFP Technology.
Two thirds of the IT managers said they still print most documents and store them in filing cabinets, despite nine in ten believing electronic filing is both more efficient and cost effective.
In the next five years 65 per cent said they would have halved paper output, but only three per cent believed they could become paperless.
Most of the companies questioned expect email to be the biggest paper-killer over the next five years, causing a major decline in the use of post and fax communication. Email would by then carry 65 per cent of all business documents, compared to only two per cent currently.
"The research shows clearly that there are no high tech panaceas for the business problems faced by modern organisations. I detect a maturing in people's expectations of what benefits automation can bring," said Keith Bloodworth, managing director of AFP.
However the problem is also one of supply chain changes - one of the biggest pressure on these organisations to make paper documents available came from their own customers. The Internet may help in replacing older communication methods, but few of the companies believed it would help with document management issues.
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