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Why Does Faxing Still Exist in 2019?

 

Thursday, January 03, 2019

A popular misconception is that online faxing and fax machine usage is in decline. However, the opposite is true. Fax usage continues to grow. In fact, according to a recent study from International Data Corporation (IDC), one of the largest global market intelligence firms, 82 percent of survey respondents said fax usage increased over the past year, while only 19 percent said usage went down.

Findings from IDC’s comprehensive study were surprising to those who believed fax usage was dwindling.

Highlights of the Report:

·         Fax grew 27 percent over the previous year for respondents that showed growth, and projections for these companies showed 25 percent growth over the next 24 months.

·         Faxing is considered a reliable and trusted source of secure information exchange.

·         One of the key drivers for fax volume is the growing accessibility and simplicity of fax technology.

·         Due to the continued use of fax by consumers as well as suppliers, companies are forced to meet those demands.

·         The growth of cloud fax services is predicted to continue.

 

IT Professionals Weigh In on the Relevance of Fax

Spiceworks’ 500,000 strong membership of Information Technology professionals were recently polled on the ongoing reliance of fax. They discovered that approximately 89 percent of small to medium-sized organizations still use fax in some form, whether it’s fax servers, fax machines, or online fax services. Surprisingly, 62 percent of IT pros still support physical fax machines.

Poll results revealed the top 10 reasons faxing remains widely used:

1.   The familiarity and comfort level of physical fax machines from previous generations

2.   Organizations understand that many customers still prefer faxing

3.   The use of faxing is still encouraged, though not enforced, by government standards

4.   Legal discovery relies heavily on a paper trail with transaction reports

5.   A common belief that fax remains the safest communication against viruses

6.   A general consensus that faxing is far more affordable than alternative secure information exchange

7.   Due to strict guidelines for regulatory compliance

8.   The convenience of scanning, copying and sending faxes from any web-enabled device

9.   It’s a cheap and simple backup communication platform

10.        It remains a challenge to get organizations to adopt to new and alternate communication technologies

 

The Future of Faxing

As long as there are hard, paper copies of documents, there will be fax machines. And while you might not have sent a single fax in the last decade (or ever, if you're under a certain age), for many organizations the fax will continue as a trusted source of secure information exchange.

Fortunately, as digital transformation sweeps across all industries, there is an alternative to traditional faxing that is changing how businesses send and receive documents securely: Cloud Faxing. It is secure, convenient, and not dependent on a physical machine.

Online faxing increases efficiencies in workflow by eliminating the need for employees to wait by the fax machine, wait for confirmations, or risk compliance regulations by having loose papers on a community machine. It also lowers costs, as there is no need to buy toner, paper, or even provide fax maintenance.


 

5 Businesses That Rely On Fax

To many people the idea of using a fax machine sounds out dated. With all the technology we have today, it’s a wonder that we still need them, right? However, there are still many businesses that rely on fax for one simple reason – their customers demand it. Not only can fax machines operate in parts of the world that do not have strong internet accessibility, but they can also provide security for those who do not trust their important documents in the hands of modern technology. Here are some examples of businesses that still rely on fax.

Banks and Financial Institutions

Along with handling customer information and customers who may be uncomfortable with new online processes, banks and financial institutions require signatures, which require faxing. They also need high security protocols when dealing with customer/account/monetary information, as any breaches could result in a lot of public scrutiny and loss of business.

Legal Firms

The law is tricky business, and dealing with it often requires a lot of signatures AND a lot of drafts. This makes faxing a better option as it prints directly from the machine, thus saving time – rather than the receiver having to open and/or save the document and print it themselves.  Lawyers need to provide the option of faxing to their customers to inspire confidence when dealing with serious matters.

Marketing

Some marketing companies report that they continue to use fax to back up their other campaign methods, such as e-mail marketing. Many of us receive an abundance of e-mails on a daily basis, much of it being junk mail. Half the time, people just click delete when they are too busy to read check through all their unread mail. By faxing out duplicates, marketers improve the chance of their campaign being noticed. The faxed document has less competition than the e-mail, because it is a hard copy that isn’t tucked away in an overflowing inbox.

Entertainment

After the recent SONY hacking scandal, it’s safe to say that many important documents in the entertainment industry are being sent via more secure methods like fax. In a business where media and public scrutiny is commonplace, it is essential for communication mediums to be secure.  Fax machines aren’t “hackable”, an iCloud or e-mail account is. Sometimes it takes a big security breach for businesses to remember why they used fax in the first place – this goes for any large business that may be controversial or in the public eye.

Government

The government continues to use fax for a multitude of reasons. Government departments are constantly sending and receiving documents with important information (e.g. tax). If there is ever a dispute, there needs to be evidence that a document was actually sent or received. Think about it – although you can select to have government documents sent over e-mail, they will often send a copy in the mail too. Faxing provides physical proof, much like a letter in the mail would. This also applies to other industries where information is private, such as the legal and health care systems.

There may only be five businesses on this list, but the use of fax extends into most industries, despite being considered “old fashioned”. Most businesses nowadays will have a fax machine built in to their printer, or have begun using online fax services. Online faxing combines the best of the traditional fax machine with modern technology to create a service that lets you fax anything, any time. 

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