Can the paperless office become a reality?
The idea of the paperless office has been tossed around for decades, with progress coming mostly in baby steps. However, recent technology advancements -- namely the advent of mobile and cloud computing -- have added momentum to the movement and could prove instrumental in leading to the first paperless office.
Cloud computing describes a platform through which computing applications, such as email, word processors and data storage, are accessed on the internet rather than a computer's hard drive. Through the cloud, employees are able to share and receive documents and files on virtually any connected device, whether it's a desktop computer in the office, a laptop at home or a tablet computer when on the road.
The virtue of being able to connect to business documents through any device means employees never have to print out a single piece of paper to take their work with them. If an employee needs to take his or her work home, all pertinent files can be accessed through the hosted system and pulled up on the nearest device.
Old habits die hard, however, and most companies are still reliant on paper for drafting contracts, sending memos and any number of other business tasks. And though the truly paperless office may be years away, cloud computing, coupled with advanced mobile devices, represents a significant step in the right direction.