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Original Post From Josh Ownby

The idea of a paperless office is alluring to business professionals, especially IT professionals at midsize businesses, who dream of foregoing paper documents for instant file transfers online and through the cloud. The idea gained traction among banks and financial institutions in recent years, but is slowly making its way into business and technology communities.

According to a recent TechCrunch article, companies like Google and Manilla vowed to embrace the new initiative in 2013, in order to save "time, money and trees." Led by Hellofax, the initiative's goal is for professionals to sever their longstanding ties with cords and bricks of paper and, instead, embrace the idea of an office run without paper. Joseph Walla, Hellofax founder and CEO, commented on the initiative saying, "The digital tools that are available today blow what we had even five years ago out of the water." An office without paperwork might be strange to some, but the companies leading the charge remain confident of the technology available now, as opposed to five years ago, and believe that we can fight the battle against paper, now, and win.

With the growing popularity of cloud storage, paper becomes less of a commodity and more of a nuisance--costing businesses time and money. But some critics might argue everyday jobs like faxing documents or printing reports do not fare well in the cloud world. Walla commented on this argument, saying, "For the first time, it's easy to sign, fax, and store documents without ever printing a piece of paper. It's finally fast and simple to complete paperwork and expense reports, to manage accounting, pay bills, and invoice others. The paperless office is here--we just need to use it."

Via their official homepage, the campaign points out the ill effects of the paper consumption reporting, "the average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year." And aside from the amount of paper used, the site mentions "the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 334 pounds for each person living in the U.S." By removing the user's dependence on paper, the initiative hopes businesses will turn to digital file-sharing and document editing instead.

IT professionals account for a large portion of the paper consumers, so the message remains the same: In order to stave off the need for paper, we need to move paperwork online. Other companies, including IBM, see the need to move the business world into a digital environment, with cloud services and new techniques to improve workflow management. The battle against paper is underway, and the companies that pledge their allegiance to the cause lead a revolution in business by making work environmentally friendly, while educating business professionals in the process.

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Vijay Nachimuthu

By Vijay Nachimuthu

Vijay Nachimuthu is a Managing Principal of AltaFlux. His blogs mainly focuses on latest cloud technology trends and its impact on enterprises.