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Paperless office nears reality in UAE

Research from Canon Middle East shows that in the UAE, the "paperless office" is now more of a reality, in that managers are increasingly using technology to cut paper consumption.

Recent local research by Canon Middle East has indicated that extensive use of printers and photocopiers in the modern office has resulted in exponentially increasing paper usage, but not necessarily more efficient workers. In the UAE, however, the corner may have been turned towards the "paperless office", in that managers are increasingly using technology such as document imaging and e-mail to cut paper consumption, while making staff more effective.

Of the respondents surveyed, 85 percent believe that they are reducing paperwork through computerisation, and 73 percent expect their consumption of paper to continue decreasing. Key technologies driving this trend appear to be e-mail, document imaging systems and online hosting of requisition forms and documents.

"The computer age and low-cost, high-quality personal printers made life for office workers much more convenient – they could get hard copies of documents at the click of a button," said Michel Sabbagh, Marketing Manager of Canon Middle East. "Faster, cheaper and more reliable photocopier technology also meant that any business could afford one, but often the ability to print reams of paper was not resulting in workers being more efficient, it resulted in more wastage."

83 percent of the respondents believe that productivity would improve if different types of documents could be brought together seamlessly: paper documents, faxes, e-mail and computer storage systems. 88 percent of the respondents already believe that they are saving paper by using e-mail more. The research was conducted for Canon Middle East by Paradigm Research and Strategic Planning.

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