Market Trends


Pushing for more automation of business processes seems like a no-brainer.  Has anyone ever said they’d like more paper to deal with as they try to get their jobs done?  Yet “going paperless” remains an elusive goal for many organizations, as shown in a recent AIIM study, “Winning the Paper Wars,” co-sponsored by Alfresco.

This survey of AIIM members showed almost shockingly low levels of automation in many businesses:

  • Nearly half of the organizations surveyed (47%) have made only 5% of progress towards processes that could be paper free. 18% haven’t even started yet.
  • Nearly a third of organizations are processing electronic documents, forms and PDFs separately from scanned paper.  20% print them out – including 13% who print them out and scan them back into the capture system.
  • Only 24% of organizations surveyed have a specific policy to “drive paper out of the business.”
  • For 19%, the volume of paper in the business is still increasing.

Yet the benefits of automating paper-intensive processes are substantial:

  • Two-thirds of those adopting paper-free processes report a payback within 18 months. 50% see payback in a single 12-month budgeting period.
  • On average, respondents feel that driving paper out of processes would improve speed of response to customers, citizens and staff by a factor of 4.0x and improve productivity of process staff by 29.7%.
  • 70% report that automation in accounts-payable and accounts-receivable processes has “Excellent” or “Good” ROI.

We see similar challenges and benefits with Alfresco customers looking to improve automation in document-centric processes.  Alfresco’s newest product, Alfresco Workdesk, is squarely aimed at helping customers improve process efficiency and speed in high-volume, content-centric businesses – such as banks, insurance companies and government agencies.

We also work with partners such as Zia ConsultingAdvanced Capture and Micro Strategies to offer a range of capture and process-centric solutions to map the specific requirements of a customer to a successful implementation. Given that capture plays a key role in going paperless, Alfresco also works closely with partners like Ephesoft for document capture and classification to empower easy enterprise content management (ECM).

Read the full AIIM study. And let me know, what’s your process challenge?

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About the author

Kathleen Reidy

Kathleen Reidy is the Director of Market Strategy at Alfresco.

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