Blog /
What you need to know about digitising documents
Handling paper is cumbersome, impedes productivity, reduces operational efficiency, and costs companies money — and a lot of it.

Many organisations today remain at the mercy of paper-based systems, despite available technologies to reduce paper usage, if not remove it altogether.

The fact is, only 18% of companies today can be considered genuinely paperless. Scary. What’s even more frightening are the BIG problems with using paper. Handling paper is cumbersome, impedes productivity, reduces operational efficiency, and costs companies money — and a lot of it.

One study estimates that the time wasted from processing paper costs organisations close to $20,000 per knowledge worker per year. But that’s only half of it. Read on to learn more about the extent of the paper problem and everything you need to know about the paperless office, and how it can help your business.

Disadvantages of paper-based processes

Paper-based systems are a cost burden, impede workflows, and pose serious security risks.

Gartner estimates that companies spend between 1 to 3% of their revenue on office printing. That doesn’t even account for the cost of filing, shipping, and storing documents— let alone the cost of the actual paper.
In original ROI research studying the cost benefits of investing in Document Management, Nucleus Research found returns of $8.55 per dollar spent for SMBs alone. This report reveals the key benefits and best practices for small and medium-sized businesses to start saving on every dollar and win back employees’ time.

The same survey mentions that the wasted time associated with handling paper leads to a productivity loss of 21.3%. Indeed, many employees struggle to stay on top of daily tasks and workflows because they’re inundated with information and hampered by inefficient paper-based business processes.

“For Small to Medium Businesses, Document Management returns $8.55 per dollar spent” – That’s an ROI of 750%

The benefits of a Paperless Office

  • Manual processes are now automated. For example, the right document management system will integrate with other applications for streamlined workflows across business functions.
  • You can access electronic documents anytime, anywhere, and from any device. A critical requirement is if you have multiple offices or employees that need access to records remotely.
  • Operational costs reduced. There’s no longer a need to purchase filing cabinets, use valuable floor space to store paper or keep hard copies for future reference.
  • No copying and printing costs: With digitisation, you don’t need to create multiple copies of a file for distribution around the office. The Document Management System stores one copy in a central place for easy access.
  • Reduce Business process costs: Because you’ve transitioned from manual to automated workflows, business processes are more efficient and save money. For example, optimising workflows can lead to faster payment collection and a reduction in purchasing costs.
  • Security and data recovery costs: Securing your data in multiple locations is easy and inexpensive. Recovering that data is even more accessible, with no impact on business continuity.
  • Regained time for productivity: When content is stored centrally and indexed correctly, it’s easily accessible to all employees. Giving them the ability to share documents rapidly, speeding up processes, and contributing to time gains in crucial functions such as invoicing, employee onboarding, and collections.
  • Environmental Impact: While it’s clear that paper-based systems take a toll on workflow, efficiency, and productivity, they also pose significant risks to the environment. By becoming paperless, we reduce the impact on forests, cut energy use and help lessen the effects of climate change.


Author: Carlos Lucia
Experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the document management industry. Skilled in sales, business development, document management solutions, marketing strategy, and building new business. Strong background in business finance and passionate about facilitating companies' digital transformations. Co-founder and Director of Docuworx, an Australian company that facilitates the digital transformations of businesses and organisations across Asia-Pacific.