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Who remembers the millennium bug?

There was world wide spread fear in 1999 that because computer systems in the 1900’s hadn’t allowed for a change in the millennium, whereby  a shortened  date of say  28.04.86 (04.28.86) was for April 1986, whereas after 31.12.99 (12.31.99), the next date was 01.01.00, and that computers around the world would go into free-fall.

Hardly anybody caught an aeroplane during  that time of millennium change-over for fear the planes’ computers would send it into free fall. Well the planes kept flying, and businesses kept operating.

What’s this got to do with the paperless society you say? Well, a lot.

The single major barrier against a paperless office is the fear of something going wrong with your computer system, and the business losing vital data. But there’s back-up to protect against that, you say. Sure, but everyone knows of a story where XYZ’s backup failed to work when it was desperately needed, for whatever reason.

Printed paper also offers advantages in other areas that I believe make a mockery of the term “paperless office”.

For example, you have a major presentation you are putting to a committee you need to convince. It is highly unlikely you are going to provide everyone with an electronic tablet to go through the benefits your system can provide them. You want something they can scribble notes onto, that they can put into their briefcase providing easy access to it when they wish to refer to it again (portability).

Paperless offices do run the risk of viruses, hackers, identity theft, and convenience issues (do you always carry a computer?).

And then there is the expression... “please sign on  the dotted line” – show me a computer that can do that.

The future will see less reliance on printed paper, but not an obsolescence of it. Printers and printer cartridges are here to stay.

But there is good news for the environmentalists. There will be less demand on forest trees for paper (also tree plantations are increasing in volume today), and  printer cartridge users are returning spent cartridges to recycling bins, placing less demand on land fills.

Have your say in the comments section below as to where you see the future of paper usage going.




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