Officer workers cling to hardcopies: report

Enterprise staff are loath to give up reliance on paper documents, despite the wide variety of alternative office document management systems, claims a survey by AIIM – the Association for Information and Image Management.

The survey found that 62 per cent of important paper documents are still archived as paper, and that even when documents are dispatched for archive scanning, 25 per cent are photocopied beforehand ‘just in case’. Less than a third of the paper originals are systematically or incidentally destroyed after scanning, the survey found.

‘Document Scanning and Capture: Local, Central, Outsource - What’s Working Best?’ forms part of AIIM’s Industry Watch series of reports. The survey was taken by 882 individual members of the AIIM community between October 08 and October 23, 2009, using a Web-based research tool. Invitations to take the survey were sent via e-mail to a selection of the AIIM worldwide community members

In the survey, 70 per cent of the respondents agreed with the statement, ‘Users feel that paper records are needed for legal reasons’. Even at the organisational level, in 25 per cent of businesses the legal admissibility of scanned documents is still seen as an issue.

“The legal admissibility of scanned paper documents has been established for nearly 20 years, and it is nailed down in legislation and standards around the world, [but] there is still this suspicion among users that they may need to produce the original paper copy at some point,” says AIIM president, John Mancini. “The fact that searching for - and finding - a paper copy is [many] times more difficult than finding an electronic one, seems to have escaped them.”

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