equorumby Scott Brandt, eQuorum

The digital transformation is on and it is affecting everyone. For some industries, it has created total disruption (can you say Blockbuster and Kodak?) For others it has been an irritant. But it is gaining momentum. Yet a McKinsey study showed that, on average, industries are currently less than 40 percent digitized. As the digital wave is at least a decade or more old, this is somewhat surprising. Some industries, like automotive, are less than 32 percent digitized. Trying to put percentages on this transition, however, is difficult and made harder in terms of how we define digitization and what areas of a company we are focusing on. 

PanasonicPanasonic System Communications Company of North America

Each year the world produces more than 300 million tons of paper. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, printing and writing papers typically found in a school or office environment, such as copier paper, computer printouts and notepads, comprise the largest category of paper product consumption.1

Orcuttby Bruce Orcutt, ABBYY

In 1975, Business Week magazine published an article about the “Office of the Future” in which they made an early prediction for the paperless office. When I entered this industry in 2000, all industry analysts focused on the fact that paper was dead. Document imaging would be a declining business and soon all business and personal content would be digitally born and digitally managed. While that was a great vision, the reality is that the transformation happened much slower than predicted and, frankly, is still nowhere near the overall vision of zero paper on an employee’s desk.

elickerby Lance Elicker, Van Ausdall & Farrar

Chances are you have heard the term “the paperless office” — if not by reading this magazine,  by working at a company that has attempted to go paperless, or by seeing the term on TV or social media. Before discussing the value of the paperless office, however, it is important to understand what the paperless office is. In my opinion, it is more of a concept or philosophy rather than something that can be bought and procured. I realize some of you reading this are going to disagree with me, but at least hear me out. What does it mean to be paperless? What is the value of being paperless? How can going paperless work against a company? What does it mean to be paperless? 

Canonby Dennis Amorosano, Canon U.S.A

Oh the paperless office. I can remember hearing about the promise of the paperless office when I joined the office equipment industry about 25 years ago. At the time, having such little experience, I wondered if I had made a wise choice, particularly since I had left an industry which held, at least, some role in lessening the need for paper.

Samsungby Eddie Castillo, Samsung Electronics America

Despite what “The Office’s” Michael Scott would tell you, a lot of “real business” isn’t done on paper. Some of it isn’t even done by humans anymore. I think that now and in the future (especially in the future), the world looks a lot like the paperless vision that Frederick W. Lancaster described in “Towards Paperless Information Systems (Library and information science).” In his book, published in 1978, the information scientist predicts that it’s only a matter of time before print will be replaced by electronic media, as it relates to communication between humans. Just as word processors were becoming a thing, Lancaster outlined the concept of a “paperless information” system, in which information could be easily accessed and shared in an instant. 

Epsonby Larry Trevarthen, Epson America

As the office market has evolved from desktops to mobile, the multifunction printer (MFP) has evolved as well. Not only is the MFP the critical printer for high impact color documents in the office, it is also a fundamental element of the digital ecosystem with its scan and mobile integration. In this sense, the MFP bridges the gap between the paper and digital environment. Today, in addition to print, copy, scan and fax, MFPs offer connectivity and fully integrated solutions on both laser and business inkjet platforms.