In UAE, We Love Our Paperwork!

By Sanooj Kutty posted 01-31-2012 13:18

  

 

I am someone who rarely bookmarks web pages. However, in September 2011, I could not resist but bookmark a very interesting article. And when it’s titled, “UAE paper use among highest in the world”, how could an aspiring Information Management professional resist.

In football, UAE would have been proud to be on the same status as Italy or Spain. At 200 kg per capita annual consumption of paper, this is not a statistic we should be proud of sharing with them. The significant factor here, though, is that UAE’s consumption is increasing at an average of 5-6% while those of North America and Europe are reducing at 1.8%. We may soon find the world following our paper trails.

The intention of Go Green is very much evident in the visions of the leadership of this country and is reflected in this historical resolution by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the launch of the ambitious Masdar City by under the leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Yet, when it comes to implementations, most organizations have taken a backward step with layoffs and budget cuts in their ECM programs citing recession as the reason.  Businesses are still to realize that paper-related costs are not limited to your A4 bundles but also in storage, safety and logistics and it’s a case of being Penny Wise and Pound Foolish.

As an AIIM Ambassador and its Professional Member since 2009, I am extremely disappointed with myself that UAE’s paper consumption is on the rise, especially since document management technologies have been around for around 2 decades. One look at the comments section of this article highlights that the general public is in a cure mode of recycling rather than the prevention mode of adopting DMS or ECM systems.

It is time for the ECM community in the UAE to come together to promote the business and social advantages. Then again, with direct vendor presence from leading players in the domain like IBM, OpenText, EMC, HP (Autonomy) et al, why do I not find enough education or awareness campaigns in the market?

Perhaps, and this is my speculation, is that this is because the UAE is more represented by License-pushers and pure technocrats. The management of content from a business perspective is a gap found wanting in this market.  We need more Enterprise Content Managers and less ECM license salesmen.

Until then, UAE will continue to love its “paper” work.

This article was originally published in The Information Manager



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