5 Reasons Fax Machines Just Won’t Go Away
If you’re tech-savvy, you probably wonder why the fax machine is still a thing. In fact, one recent report showed that fax machine use has actually increased over the past year!
Believe it or not, faxes were also adopted into commercial use earlier than telephones. The first design patent for an electronic device that transmitted pictures over wires was secured by a Scottish inventor, Alexander Bain, in 1843. Alexander Graham Bell didn’t patent the telephone until almost 25 years later!
Yet, while our office telephony technology has evolved dramatically since then, the fax remains a standard piece of office equipment – no matter how dusty it might get (or how many people still don’t know how to use them).
Though a relic of the past, fax machines seem to be here to stay. Here’s why:
Certain professions don’t just encourage, but require, the physical paper trail that faxing provides
Think about things like legal discovery processes, government policy paper trails, or medical referrals and results documentation. All of them require a paper trail for regulatory compliance. Even if there are digital options, none matches the indisputabiity and permanency of a fax in these fields.
Many people still believe that fax remains the safest communication channel compared to virus-prone digital ones
Since it’s essentially a transmitted photocopy, we understand this thinking. Of course, there are countless ways to protect digital communications – anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-virus apps – but for many, that small possibility of a security breach is still too much. That’s not to say fax machines can’t be compromised – but since there are so few fax machines in use, there aren’t legions of black hat developers out there coding new hacks for them, either.
It’s easier than upgrading
Sure, you could ensure that your emails are totally secure but that would require the time and expense of implementing end-to-end encryption. Why bother when there’s a perfectly good fax machine?
Customers fax, so we fax
It’s the classic chicken and egg scenario. The customers of a business fax, so the business faxes. The business faxes, so its customers fax. We can’t help but wonder what would happen if one party just asked themselves: Why are we doing this again?
Faxing isn’t exactly what it used to be
Now with cloud faxing and all-in-one printer/fax/scanner units (or multi-function machines), companies get the best of copying, sending, and printing in one computer-like device. You get the benefits of faxing but you also have a digital backup just in case.