Report: Executives Say Less Than 10% of Business Processes Will Rely on Paper by 2018

A Xerox survey of IT leaders shows for most organizations, the desire to transform to a digital rather than paper-based enterprise remains out of reach.

Senior IT decision makers at U.S. and Western European government agencies believe their agency’s core business processes will be completely digital by 2018, according to a new survey and report by Xerox. Despite 55% acknowledging that half of agency processes rely on paper, “only six percent,” the report said, “firmly believe that all of their agency processes will be run on paper in the next two years.”

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The poll of 200 IT leaders at large government agencies found invoicing, constituent engagement and human resources processes among those ripe to retire paper-based systems.

Fifty-eight percent said digital transformation will speed up operations and 50% expect digitization to drive productivity, Xerox’s “Digitization at Work” report found.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said their agency still issues contracts and handles procurement using paper, but 43% say the processes are costly and 41% say they’re insecure.

Survey respondents predicted an average of only 9% of key business operation processes will run on paper in the next two years.

But more than half (55%) of the respondents admit their organizations’ processes are still largely or entirely paper-based, and about one third (29%) are still communicating with end customers via paper, rather than email or social channels.

This is despite the fact that 41% agree moving to digital workflows will cut organizational costs, and 87% appear to have the skill sets available to make this happen.

The survey showed that Canadian companies are generally ahead of their global counterparts in digitizing processes in the areas of invoicing, contracts, customer engagement, HR on-boarding, new product development, and vertical and operational processes. Forty-four percent of Canadian respondents said they will have all seven digitized in two years – the highest across all countries surveyed.

“Organizations foresee a lean and agile digital future, but current business processes are still weighed down by paper,” said Andy Jones, vice president, Workflow Automation, Large Enterprise Operations, Xerox. “The disconnect between an organization’s vision and the steps required to achieve successful digital transformation has stalled the promise of digitization.”

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