What do they say about cobblers and their ill-shod children?

I don't think anyone can be surprised by a survey from Version One claiming that 86 percent of IT professionals still rely on paper records. In fact, knowing the habits of IT professionals, "records" may be too strong a word: backs of envelopes, odd pieces of paper, marketing brochures have all been pressed into service. We rarely see the cliche of the fag packet any more - the anti-smoking bans have phased out that particular avenue.

This survey is not new, I remember Infoblox coming out with a similar statement a few years back. The company was launching its IP address management suite and it published figures to prove it.

Why are we all resistant to change when it comes to moving away from paper? According to the Version One survey, just one percent of IT professionals need no access to paper records, while 51 percent are very reliant on paper. But then, there's been talk of a paperless office for years and there are still piles of A4 in most workplaces. Naturally enough, Version One wishes these professionals would switch to an electronic data management product (EDM)- guess what Version One sells?

But do users need EDM? In some cases, where there's a need to supply proper records maybe, but in many cases, IT staff just need to keep tabs on a certain number of records. These days, you're as likely to see staff walking round with a mobile devices as you are as seeing them with a notepad in their hand. My smartphone has a plethora of IP, DNS and MAC address widgets and apps and I'm sure that over time we'll see more  developments. As the world embraces smartphones and tablets more, we'll see fewer bits of paper lying around offices. Not good for stationery firms but greater efficiency for the rest of us.

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