By Claire West

The findings of a survey by document management software company, Version One (www.versionone.co.uk), highlight that 86% of senior IT professionals are still reliant on paper records with over half of these (51%) stating that they are VERY reliant. Just 1% of respondents state that they “hardly ever” have to rely on paper records while the remaining 13% admit they are “occasionally reliant”.

Version One carried out the research with 86 senior IT professionals (IT directors and managers) across a range of UK and Irish public and private sector organisations.

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. 32% of those surveyed said that they would most likely switch to EDM in order to improve customer service while 20% admitted that receiving assurance that electronic documents are legally permissible (such as with HM Revenue and Customs) would be a key driver for eliminating paper.

The remaining 48% of respondents indicate that they would be persuaded to move away from paper records if they were assured of all the following in relation to electronic document management: document security, customer service benefits, legislative admissibility and environmental benefits.

Julian Buck, Managing Director of Version One, says, “It is astonishing that so many IT professionals still rely heavily on paper documents.
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 with EDM systems cutting both paper waste and CO2 emissions.

Buck adds, “Document management reduces the printing, photocopying and posting of documents, which are all huge carbon generators. Therefore, as well as making considerable business sense, document management systems also make environmental sense, providing a compelling proposition for all type and size of organisation.”