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Paperless Office Is Almost Here, Says Survey

An e-commerce survey published Thursday by UK research group NOP and Barclays Corporate Banking claims that businesses are well on the way towards achieving the paperless office, owing to a dramatic increase in intranet activity.

During the last year, says the survey, intranet usage has grown by nearly a third, with 55 percent of businesses with over 500 employees being connected to an intranet. Of these, nearly a third of the sites are less than a year old.

"Intranets are a giant leap towards the paperless office," said Rachael Atkinson of Barclays Corporate Banking.

"Staff feel more connected to what's going on and information is spread rapidly without Chinese whispers. There's also a huge environmental benefit in the amount of paper we're saving. We are witnessing the biggest revolution in back-office culture since the advent of the typewriter."

The survey was published to coincide with a conference entitled "Business on the Internet," sponsored by Barclays, which addressed current issues related to e-commerce.

Another finding in the survey is that businesses with fewer (200-499) employees have also shown a big increase in intranet installations, up 28 percent during the past year.

While another recent survey found that there were 2.25m tonnes of outdated or obsolete literature filed in UK offices, 72 percent of respondents to the NOP/Barclays survey believed their intranets would reduce costs and save paper.

However, perhaps the most encouraging sign is that 95 percent of all respondents said that their intranet site would improve internal communications.

The new survey is based on interviews with 700 senior decision makers from both IT and non-IT sectors of industry in the UK, conducted February to April this year.



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