Why Email Hasn’t Replaced Fax

The Relevancy of Fax Today

While today the fax machine may be considered an out-of-date form of transferring information, faxing is far from obsolete.

According to a 2019 report by Fierce Healthcare, an online healthcare journal, “9 in 10 healthcare companies still rely on fax machines.”¹ Because of the legal requirements governing the transmission of protected personal health information (PHI), healthcare companies rely on fax to transfer this data in order to adhere to compliance regulations. While many people may think fax is on the decline, the opposite is true. According to VMR, a verified market research website, the fax industry is steadily gaining momentum, growing at a rate of over 13% per year, and reaching over $8 billion in revenue within the next five years.²

So why do companies still fax instead of relying on email? Two of the most important reasons are security and deliverability.


Security is a major concern for companies in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, which is governed by compliance regulations and subject to steep fines for compliance violations. Despite the fact that email is a common method of communication, it’s not considered as secure as fax and simply not practical for high volume document transmission.

Encrypted email messages often require individual sign-ins to ensure security. This method works well for one-to-one email sends, but imagine the pharmacy that must process hundreds of prescriptions each day. Opening an encrypted email and logging in for each prescription that must be processed is not practical. 

Faxing offers end-to-end encryption so documents are secure and private in transmission, giving organizations more scalability in sending secure messages in high volumes.


Although email messages reach recipients most of the time, email delivery can’t be guaranteed. Spam filters may accidentally flag an important message and send it to the junk folder. Or, a misspelled email address will prevent the message from being delivered. Even sending a message through a mobile device instead of a desktop computer can delay a message from being sent depending on your location, cell service, and internet access.

Modern faxing solutions have better tracking and alerting methods that provide confirmation when a fax is received and notifications if it is not. And, most cloud-based services provide built-in redundancy and unlimited scalability, improving reliability and deliverability during peak volumes and minimizing the chances of a failed transmission during a hardware or teleco outage. 

Not All Fax Solutions are the Same

While fax is considered the most secure method of sending and receiving confidential documents and information in some industries, not all fax solutions are the same. Fax applications come in many forms such as traditional fax machines, on premise fax servers, and cloud fax. Let’s take a look at how the different types of fax applications compare.

Traditional Fax Machines

Traditional fax machines have many shortcomings, but one of the most serious issues is the potential for confidential faxes to be left sitting out and visible to others. This potential breach of security and confidentiality could cost healthcare companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, faxing from a traditional fax machine takes unnecessary time to walk to the fax machine and wait for the fax to send, which can dramatically decrease employee productivity. 

On-Premise Fax Servers

On-premise fax servers are limited to a finite number of channels. For instance, if you have eight fax channels, and all eight channels are in use, when a ninth fax comes in the sender will receive a busy signal and will not be able to send the fax. Conversely, with outbound faxes, if all eight channels are in use and a ninth fax must be sent, that fax will sit in a queue waiting for an available fax channel, delaying a potentially time-sensitive document from being delivered. Plus, on-premise fax servers often have the added expense of costly hardware and software maintenance agreements. Of course, both on-premise fax servers and fax machines also incur the added costs of paper, ink, and telco transmission charges. 

Here is brief summary of some of the key limitations of fax machines and on-premise fax servers:

Cloud Fax

Cloud fax solves all of the short comings of fax machines and fax servers.

Cloud faxing is more scalable, reliable, cost effective, and most importantly more secure. Its infrastructure is designed for advanced data encryption and protected document sharing. This method isn’t dependent on any physical fax or teleco channels, allowing you to scale up and back down as fax volumes fluctuate, and to only pay for the volume you need. That’s why many organizations, especially healthcare, rely on cloud fax for transmitting sensitive information.

To learn more about the benefits of cloud fax and the different implementation options, check out our blog, “Solutions for Your Cloud Fax Environment.”

“The largest growth segment by revenue and customer base reported year over year is coming from enterprise cloud fax providers.”  – Mark Malone, Industry Analyst

Mark Malone, leading Fax Industry Analyst, has created an in-depth report detailing how “the demand for fax systems has not diminished, business needs are growing, and almost 100% of fax services growth will utilize cloud computing platforms.” To learn more about the demand of cloud fax, download our FREE whitepaper.

Finding the right cloud fax solution for your organization’s needs can be an overwhelming task. There are dozens of solution providers to evaluate before making a decision. It’s important to evaluate their product feature set, compatibility with existing environment and infrastructure, pricing, and support services. An unbiased recommendation can help you identify the right solution provider for your business quickly and efficiently. 

For over 25 years Instant InfoSystems has provided companies with industry-leading solutions to help companies streamline business processes, improve security, and optimize operational networks. We pride ourselves on a customer-first focus and deliver an unparalleled level of customer service and technical support.

We can help you leverage the power of the cloud to improve all areas of your business: document transmission, network efficiency, communications, and the customer experience. To learn more, schedule a FREE consultation.


  1. Finnegan, Joanne. “Is It 1970 or 2019? 9 in 10 in Healthcare Industry Still Using Fax Machines, Survey Finds.” Fierce Healthcare, 13 Nov. 2019.

  2. “Online Fax Market Size: Share: Industry Trends: Forecast.” Verified Market Research, 19 Apr. 2021.

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