Where do we start with paper? Why don't we look at wider trends in the business world.
Once upon a time, offices were repositories of hard data printed for perpetuity on modern papyrus.
If you wanted something, it could be found on a piece of A4 and there were thousands of them – stowed in filing cabinets, piled in trays on desks and spilling out of printers and fax machines.
If a forest could have a nightmare, that would be the scene.
These days, the paperless office is becoming less a dream and more a reality, as businesses take advantage of the ability of technology to streamline their processes and boost efficiency.
Many areas of business can benefit from a move away from paper-based systems, and one of the most critical for companies is the way in which they seek feedback from their staff and customers.
What's so bad about paper-based feedback forms? Back when paper was king, no doubt they seemed useful, but compared to what businesses can now do with the help of specialist survey software and online satisfaction questionnaires, they just don't measure up.
That's because not only are paper systems of feedback gathering more costly – around four times more expensive than web-based solutions – they are also slower, more labour intensive and inconvenient.
Think about the logistics involved in getting physical surveys out to a selection of customers, those people filling them out, and then the surveys making their way back to a business.
With each extra step there is room for error and for the information gathered to be compromised.
By contrast, a web-based system is more affordable, quicker and far more user friendly for both the business and those filling out the surveys.
In addition, the potential for data analysis is exponentially better with online surveys, as instead of having to pore over each response in a pile of paper sheets, web-based software can make the reporting process a breeze.
That means businesses can get instant insight into their staff or customers which they can then turn into actionable management data.