The Paperless(?) Office

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the paperless office?

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There are many advantages to having a paperless office. One advantage

is that companies are able to greatly reduce the amount of paper that

they use. Not only does this help the environment, it helps cut costs within

the organization. Companies are also able to improve service through

implementing the paperless office. This is because communication is immediate

and does not get lost in a pile of papers on someone's desk. A paperless office

can also save the company money. This can be seen in the example of Washington

Mutual Savings Bank of Seattle. The bank automated more than one-hundred

different forms and estimates that they are saving upwards of one million per

year.

One disadvantage to having a paperless office is the issue security.

How does a company make sure that only the eyes the document is intended for,

are the only eyes that see it? Also how does a company know an electronic

communication is authentic? Another issue is privacy. How does a company make

sure that when an electronic communication is sent only the person it is

intended for will read it? How does a company make sure private information

does not make the evening news?

2. Are certain types of information more readily amenable to digital

processing in a paperless office than others? If so, why; if not, why not?

It would seem that some types of information are better in paperless

form, while some are not. Implementing an e-mail system can do wonders for

companies. The e-mail sessions allow managers to get more information across to

the employees and vice versa. This is a way to make sure everyone will access

to the same information. A paperless office is a good way to send and receive

reports.

Another area that is conducive to a paperless office is such companies

that put large volumes of books and papers on CD-ROM. A single CD-ROM can hold

a whole room full of books. This cuts down on the physical space a company must

devote to paper storage.

3. How might book publishing change as the technology of the paperless office

continues to develop? Will books become obsolete? Why or why not?

The book publishing industry will have to grow and change in relation to

the changing technology. As the paperless office gains more and more popularity,

one will begin to see more and more documents being on CD-ROM and also on the

Internet. The CD-ROM's are cost effective, paper reducing, and easy to

manufacture.

In the near future what will probably happen is that publications will

be produced in both paper and in some type of electronic media. I see sort of

phasing, similar to that if the cassette tape going to the compact disc. For

the meantime most everyone has gone the way of compact discs, but there are

still the ones who prefer cassette tapes for whatever reason. For this reason I

don't think we will see the deletion of printed books, but we will begin to see

more and more on some type of electronic media.

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