Today Is World Paper Free Day! So What Are You Doing About It?

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By Doug Miles, Director of Market Intelligence for AIIM, the global community of information management professionals.

Don’t touch that printer!

Step away from the fax machine!

And get your hands off that paper you were just about to start circulating among the team.

Why? Well, did you know that today – Thursday, October 24, 2013 – is the 4th World Paper Free Day.

If you’re not aware of this idea, it was put together a couple of years ago by our organisation of information professionals AIIM to create awareness about the usefulness of seamless, paperless office processes – and how much more preferable electronic communications are when you don’t change the media they’re conducted in.

You might be more convinced about the value of the campaign when you appreciate that for 49% of global organisations contacted recently by security giant Symantec, information is their true centre of value. And so wouldn’t it be nice to make it as simple and friction-free as possible to share, find and use such a core asset? After all, PwC has estimated that 7.5% of all your business documents are currently mislaid – and 3.5% misfiled?

Why, then, did the paperless office never happen – or worse, 19% of respondents to one of our recent surveys say their use of paper is actually increasing? Well, let’s let the computer historians and business school theorists work on that one.

What matters is that you can take practical steps today to remove a surprisingly high amount of the paper that’s making your business processes chaotic – and move to boost efficiency and save massive cost, too.

To get there, you need to look at more than just technology – your people, your processes and how you handle and route your information also need to be considered. And while scanners have a role, as do electronic signatures, no solution is your only answer – moving to less paper is a journey that starts with a holistic view of where you are now.

The good news is that many organisations are cracking this, reducing their paper chains and finding real benefits as a result.

So if you would like to find out more about these issues – and more importantly, what you can practically do about them – you might be interested in joining the conversation on Twitter, #wpfd. You can also connect with the movement via Facebook.

There is also an interesting online event today at 5pm today UK time (noon East Coast American time) where you can exchange info and learn best practice about moving off paper – follow the #wpfd hashtag or connect via this one, #infochat. We’re sure you’ll find it useful!

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