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Why paperless offices are the future

Microform Branding - Work colleagues around a computer

In 2018, the concept of 'paperless offices' celebrated its 40th anniversary since it was first used in business in the US in 1978.

To a lot of people, the idea of going paperless just means using more emails — but it's more than just that, and several US trademark applications over the past four decades have used 'paperless office' to mean digital document management, archiving and retrieval.

Unfortunately, in its early days, the idea was a few decades ahead of the technology that was available at the time, and an increase in digital documents actually led to more paper being used.

Digital documents made it easier to print multiple copies cheaply and quickly, benefits that still apply today when you need to make a hardcopy of a document you only have stored in digital form.

But more recently, innovations like cloud computing have made it much easier to hold documents in only a digital format and retrieve them via an internet connection whenever they are needed.

This cuts down on physical storage space and costs, the carbon footprint of paper and printer ink/toner consumption, and the risk of losing the only hardcopy of a document to a disaster like fire or flood.

Why are paperless offices the future?

The turning point for paperless offices really came early in the 21st century as internet connections became faster and corporate environmental policies started to crack down on unnecessary paper usage.

We're at a point now where the technology is mature — Microform, for instance, can digitise documents into any one of a number of different text and image file formats.

Methods like optical character recognition (OCR) have been refined and offer an excellent way to turn static print into digital text that can be copied and pasted, searched and edited.

Cloud computing platforms have also evolved, aided by high-speed broadband internet access especially in a business setting, allowing even uncompressed photographic quality images to be retrieved in a matter of seconds.

The technology is all in place and the business sentiment is there — lower storage and printing costs, increased productivity and enhanced collaboration all make paperless offices the obvious way to go.

Your virtual file room online

Sophisticated cloud document storage technology means that it's now possible to create virtual file rooms online.

At Microform we can set up a bespoke cloud storage management system for you, along with custom-built document management software that gives you direct access to files, folders and functions like search.

Access can be secured to ISO 27001 standards, adding data protection and compliance to the range of benefits your business receives from going truly paperless.

We can digitise your existing documents to compressed and uncompressed image formats, portable PDF format and/or digital OCR text so you can work with them however you choose.

And if you're ready to go completely paperless, we can make sure the original hard copies are securely destroyed and if possible, recycled to give that paper a new lease of life for the future too.

If you'd like to know more about how Microform can help you go paperless, check out our contact page.