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Companies Continue to Pursue ‘Less Paper’ Office, New CompTIA Study Reveals

Sep 08, 2014

Downers Grove, Ill., Sept. 8, 2014 – Nearly 80 percent of companies say they’re engaged in efforts to become a “less paper” office, a new study by CompTIA, the IT Industry Association, reveals.

About one in five businesses say they’re pursuing a “less-paper” strategy to a high degree, according to CompTIA’s Trends in Managed Services report. Another 56 percent are doing so to a lesser degree, indicating that the desire to become less paper intensive is more than a niche trend.

The move to a “less paper” office is driven by several factors, with costs savings topping the list.

“The less obvious, but potentially greater savings may come from efficiency gains,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA.  “Digitized, properly managed information delivers countless benefits over paper files that are handled manually.”

While paper volumes are shrinking due to digitization and other factors, paper is still used at high rates. The study finds 98 percent of office workers print at least once per quarter. So even with “less paper” efforts, most business will continue to use paper in some capacity

The Impact of Mobility

While the mobile trend continues unabated, not all of its elements have matured at the same pace. Mobile print falls into this category.

In the CompTIA study, 28 percent of businesses report having mobile print capabilities in place; while 37 percent plan to add some type of mobile print capability for smartphones and tablets in the near term.

At the same time, 21 percent of business professionals report a significant reduction in their personal print volumes due to mobile devices. In 2011, the comparable figure was 15 percent.

Green IT and Print

A net 86 percent of businesses in the CompTIA survey make a connection between print and green IT practices. Eight in ten businesses report the presence of paper recycling bins near print stations. A near equal number engage in ink and toner cartridge recycling and proper disposal of devices at the end of their useful life.

Slightly more than half of businesses routinely encourage their employees to engage in environmentally friendly print practices, such as refraining from wasteful printing (ie., emails) or utilizing duplex printing when appropriate.

Opportunities for IT Channel Firms

Each of these areas – the less-paper office, mobility and green IT – offer new business opportunities for IT channel firms engaged in the delivery of managed print services. For example, the majority of managed print services providers surveyed report offering document scanning and routing services. Slightly fewer offer workflow or business process automation services. These offerings dovetail nicely with less-paper office discussions.

“Whether a business is just now embracing these practices, or looking to further refine sustainability practices already in place, managed print service providers with the right combination of expertise and messaging will be best positioned to capitalize on the green IT trend,” Herbert said.

Data for CompTIA’s Trends in Managed Print study was collected in online surveys of 600 U.S. and Canadian IT business executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting print or document management at their company. Additionally, 350 executives of U.S. IT firms, with most having some level of involvement in the IT channel were surveyed. The complete report is available to CompTIA Premier Members.

About CompTIA

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programmes, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit CompTIA online and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


­Steven Ostrowski