Why is a white paper written? It is written to provide the solution to a problem. There was a time when white papers were typically used for government work. Different government departments had various problems that they needed to tackle at different points of time. They used to appoint commissions and officers to write documents that would provide the answers to all these solutions.
But now white papers are used everywhere. They are used in the IT industry quite a lot especially when a new product has to be introduced to investors and customers. Marketing departments are known for their extensive use of white papers to draw attention to their products and impress upon the outside world the value of what they are selling.
Many white papers are written and they are published on the web. People are always hunting the Internet for information. They want details on a product before they buy it. They want details on an application before they use it. They want details on a service before they subscribe to it. That is why many researchers prepare white papers and then they load it on the Internet. People go online and they read it. Then they make up their minds if they want to subscribe to what the white paper is saying or not.
Students who are working in the Information Technology field should start preparing white papers from a young age and from early on in their academic lives. Once they join the job market, they will find that the demand for white papers is huge. They will find that there is much money to be made in the writing and publishing of white papers. That is why researchers are not complete till they have mastered the art of writing white papers.