Reducing the reliance of an organization on printed documents requires a level of commitment that challenges preconceived notions and established norms of managing documents. Create a requirement for all government agencies to migrate towards document digitalization by minimizing the reliance on printed media. Reducing the bulk of printed documents across the government saves not only untold millions in ink and paper costs but dramatically lessens the environmental impact the wanton use of printing engenders.
The technology is available for most, if not all, government agencies to eschew large scale paper use for unclassified documents immediately. A modified ‘Kindle’ or ‘iPad’ could replace a large portion of paper use while the costs of each device could be reduced from current prices if they are purchased in bulk. Integrated and robust digital storage devices also exist and could be purchased to add another layer of reliability in storing digital documents. The agencies that accept and migrate to these devices can set their own requirements and set the specific capabilities needed with the manufacturers so as to not be constrained in their application.
Each document digitalized and organization that reduces their material use and costs will save money and time in managing documents and speed our country towards a truly paperless future. Every major technological leap and fundamental change in our society has been from a recognized need for change- and the courage to do so.