Fax Still a Vital Technology for Business & Productivity

Contrary to what you might expect, fax continues to drive many of the day-to-day needs of businesses and consumers — and it's not likely to go away anytime soon..

Fax Still a Vital Technology for Business & Productivity

Fax remains a pervasive technology, powering many of the communications we all rely on - spanning from finance to insurance and health care sectors of the economy. 

In fact, research from eFax, a cloud-based fax solution for businesses, found that fax is still very much with us, solving many of the day-to-day needs of businesses and consumers alike. 

Cloud-based fax lets you securely send and receive faxes from computers (PC or Mac) and mobile devices (iOS or Android) wherever you have internet access. 

Fax, also called telefax or telecopying, is simply the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material usually to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device.

Just over a third of people send and receive secure documents every day, with a further 34% of people doing so 3 or 4 times a week. Fax is often used to send these documents, and fax usage is expected to increase, with 68% seeing it remaining for the next five years. 

These findings are taken from a major research project by eFax conducted in late 2021 to gain a greater understanding of the cloud-based electronic faxing market and its dynamics. 

The survey polled 1001 senior IT and business decision-makers in large enterprises, small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and public sector organizations. 

Key study findings included:

  • Just over a third of us send and receive secure documents every day, a further 34% do so 3 or 4 times a week
  • When asked, 22% of the sample base stated that they send and receive secure documents at least weekly
  • The number of fax users in organizations is also far higher than you could ever imagine. Over half of the sample (54%) had between 6 to 50 users; A full fifth claimed that there were 51 or more users in their organization. 
  • Fax usage is also expected to increase in over 37% of the study sample, with 28% stating there would be no change, while only 35% felt they might see a decrease
  • Over the past year, a whopping 64% of the respondents stated that the number of secure documents received had seen no change or had in fact increased.  
  • 45% of respondents send and receive confidential documents via password protected emails, and 43% said they use email encrypted software 
  • When it comes to fax, 35% use cloud-based fax systems, while 31% use a mix of cloud and traditional faxing, while 15% of respondents remained wedded to their traditional fax machine. But these figures hide a wealth of detail when it comes to different markets
  • 68% see fax remaining for at least the next five years, while 14% of users see it remaining for the foreseeable future.

“The chances are that today you are working in an office with people who have no idea what a fax machine is or why faxing was for so long the most efficient and effective way to communicate,” said Scott Wilson, Vice President, Sales & Service, eFax. “It will come as a surprise to many that the fax is still very much with us, just not how you would imagine.”

Today, cloud-based fax is still very much part of the modern business’ IT infrastructure for a simple and practical reason that you cannot send an email to a fax machine unless you use an online fax service. This is why people opt for internet faxing over email for business. 

Similarly, in vital sectors like healthcare, fax is king — and it's not likely to go away anytime soon. Online faxing allows you to easily send and receive faxes over the internet by means of email or via a mobile app, using your PC or Mac computer or mobile device.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the global cloud fax market size was valued at  USD $633.3 million in 2021 and the market is expected to reach USD $1701.4 million by 2031.


Documents Users Find Suitable for Faxing


Among the documents people are faxing today are:

  • Contracts                                             56%
  • Tenancy agreements                          44%
  • Company accounts                             31%
  • Commercially sensitive docs              28%
  • Documents containing bank details   26%
  • Patient records                                    24%
  • Documents containing PII                  19%

Cloud fax providers have emerged and have had to develop an infrastructure that guarantees business users the most secure, private, and legally compliant way to transmit their confidential data to clients, vendors, partners, and other third parties. This is why fax will remain at the heart of many business processes for the foreseeable future. 

The biggest driver for the ongoing use of fax is security at 41% followed by cost efficiency at 36%, compliance to GDPR at 34%, and the increasing importance of cloud storage at 23%, according to the eFax study.

“Fax remains central to many businesses and their operations. Its secret life underpins many organizations, powering the effective communication of secure and legally binding documentation today and for years to come,” concluded Wilson. 

Photo: Dave Crosby / Flickr.