Realization of paperless society would have to wait

by Koree S. Monteloyola


I share the same belief with InfoTrends analyst John Shane in his statement,

"I wouldn't call it the paperless office -- that's not going to happen for ages. But the less-paper office is coming."

The idea of a paperless society was presented on 1975, but the advancement in paper publishing in the 1990s lead to more production and printing of documents. Printers and scanners have been more sophisticated, the machines were able to print more documents per minute or scan images and documents which are still going to be printed or duplicated for later. Although, emails already existed at that time, people were still printing those emails for permanency. Also fax machines, are still widely used nowadays.

In reality, the idea of a paperless society is tied with the available hardware and software, and of course a person or company's budget to buy these technologies to pursue this objective. Businesses would benefit from a paperless office because this means they would save costs on paper, envelopes, postage, couriers, printers, copiers and, of course, filing cabinets. Moreover, a paperless office is good for the environment since less trees are cut-down.

Portable computer tablets, such as Apple's iPad, lets you view digital versions of a newspaper or magazine and can be used to jot down notes by the finger. But this would cost you around PHP 20,000.00. Of course not everyone, can afford this technology and they don't see the point of buying computer tablets as long as the more affordable print version exists.

Regarding portability, if I were in a plane and have to read 1 legal document, do I really need to open my laptop or computer tablet? I don't think so, I would still prefer to have that single piece of paper.

The current technology isn't prepared to store documents on a permanent basis, one virus infection on the computer server could corrupt all files. Digitally signed documents still impose uncertainty on (legal) validation. There is no law for digitally signed documents yet in the Philippines.

And personally, I prefer to write my notes on a piece of paper.


Is the 'paperless' office here at last?

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