But: Fax use in German companies is declining
By email, chat or in the cloud – there are now many digital ways to send documents. Nevertheless, German companies still hold on to a classic of analogue communication – the fax machine. Overall, 82 percent of companies in Germany still fax. One third (33 percent) of the companies even still use the fax frequently or very frequently. However, intensive use is declining sharply. In the previous year, it was still 40 percent, in 2018 even 62 percent of the companies that sent faxes frequently or very frequently. These are the results of a study commissioned by the digital association Bitkom, for which 505 companies in Germany with 20 or more employees were representatively surveyed.
“In view of the digital transformation, the fax had long been pronounced dead. But once a communication channel has established itself, it usually takes time for it to be completely replaced – even if there are now much more convenient and secure communication channels,” says Nils Britze, Head of Digital Business Processes at Bitkom. “What people appreciate most about the classic fax is the high level of verifiability of delivery. However, when it comes to the encryption of data and thus its security, the digital channels have quite a few advantages over the fax. Digital fax machines pick up on this and use servers instead of telephone lines for data transmission. This makes digital fax much more secure than its analogue predecessor.”
50 per cent of companies now only fax occasionally or rarely. 16 percent already do without it completely, compared to 11 percent in 2022. But what is the overall state of analogue and digital communication in German companies? How can processes that still take place on paper be digitised and automated? And how will artificial intelligence change work in the office? Answers to these and more questions will be provided at the Bitkom Digital Office Conference on 11 May. Free registration is possible at www.office-conference.com/de.
Note on methodology: The information is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. For this purpose, 505 companies in Germany with 20 or more employees were interviewed by telephone. The survey is representative. The question was: “How often are the following communication channels currently used for internal or external communication in your company?