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To print or not to print

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Mesin Cetak Press Gutenberg

Why print a document?

This typical “Why” question is good to start our journey. As we know it, since the dawn of Industrialization until the Internet era, the printed document still used on our daily business activity. So why do we print?

There are several reasons why we print something:

  • Legalization
  • Distribution
  • Hard copy
  • Archive


Since business is run under the law, so everything must be legal. And this legalization is still proven by a printed paper, signed on “materai” and stamped with official organization’s logo


Yes, nowadays everyone is using a gadget, but for many reasons, people more prefer to read a printed paper, especially when it comes to work-related documents. So that they could write down revision or do anything else


Many business activities have still required both types of documents, digital and hard copy of documents


Many business documents are archived for a future purpose such as auditing or ISO certification, etc.


Alright, since now is an internet era, that everything in the world has a virtual world representative or digital representative, why don’t we do so with any printed documents?

Digital Legalizations

There are various method to prove that one document is approved and legalized, digitally. The simplest way is using a digital signature, when people using stylus, mouse, touchscreen, or even a fingertip, to jot down their signature on a digital form. Of course, there must be a disclosure stated that digital signature accepted on the document, and both parties are aware of the usage of the digital signature.

Another way is adding some kind of Digital Certificate or even using a blockchain mechanism.

The thing that also must be considered is preventing fraud in our documents. Digital documents are relatively "easy" to be tampered with. The bad guy can erase/alter one word that will change the meaning or function of an agreement.

So we have to concern about the security of every drafted, produced, and stored valuable documents such as business contracts, wills, and so on.


Since people nowadays have an "extended" brain in the form of gadgets, where they put almost anything in their life on to it, so about this document distribution for asking a review is also no longer an issue. There is various application made for the gadget that can be used for creating an annotation, highlighting, doodling, etc.


There is blockchain technology nowadays that can be used for keeping a digital document that every party on one business can keep the same version. This technology can be used as an alternative for Hardcopy type of documents.


There is a cloud technology that has been around for more than one decade. By using this technology, we can create some kind of virtual archive storage, that can be accessed any time anywhere with proper security to prevent unauthorized access and other threat. So, of course all of our valuable documents can be stored on that cloud technology for archiving purposes.

Hybrid Method

Ok, let say that company can't 100% going paperless. They still need to print documents for some reason. Then we can still implement a method that encourages as small as possible to print a document into the paper.

The scenario that can be implemented is:

  • Managed/Authorized printing
  • Quota printing

Managed/Authorized printing

With this method, the printing system is managed that only certain employees can print. This authorization access can be set at the server-side or the device (printer) side.

Quota printing

This method is to implement a quota for printing. So in a week/a month, each department has a printing quota of x sheet of paper.

Migrating in to paperless

Going paperless has many advantages. From cost-saving into saving the world. By going paperless, we can cut costs for Printer Hardware, Printer Supply, Network Infrastructure, Paper supply, and printer maintenance cost.

And in the bigger scope, by reducing paper consumption, we are participating in saving the world, by reducing deforestation.


Image credit:

- dronepicr

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