Backup and Storage

Financial crisis ‘encouraging businesses to reduce paper usage’

Businesses are keen to cut the amount of paper they get through as a result of the global financial crisis, according to experts.

The global financial crisis has led to businesses looking from the top to the bottom of their operations to see where costs can be cut. There is nothing quite like a recession to make companies see how inefficient and wasteful they really are.

Office supplies can be one of the biggest drains on a firm’s resources, so looking at ways to reduce expenditure in this area can pay dividends further down the line.

Some businesses are reluctant to embrace change, sticking to tried and tested methods even though new and affordable innovations such as electronic document storage facilities are available.

As a result, it can take something as drastic as an economic slump to make them start thinking about making the change.

According to Nitro, many businesses and individuals "still rely heavily" on paper, with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular being reluctant to switch to modern digital technology.

Sam Chandler, chief executive of the group, said this is because smaller ventures have typically believed these solutions are designed for much bigger firms, are prohibitively costly and hard to use.

But with SMEs among those hardest hit by the financial crisis and increasingly making use of technology such as the internet, it seems attitudes may be changing.

"It’s taken the perfect storm of a global recession, ubiquitous internet connectivity and the rise of end-user focused product design to make [the paperless office] a conceivable reality," Mr Chandler commented.

He was speaking after a study by Nitro found that most respondents are prepared to cut down on the amount of paper they use throughout the next decade.

Interestingly, many of these people did not cite the financial advantages of purchasing less paper as their main motivation. Some respondents were primarily guided by environmental concerns, which Nitro said reflected the move of green concerns into mainstream thinking.