Smart multifunction printers redefine business workflows

(Image: IDGNS)

16 March 2016

Smart multifunction print devices are redefining business workflows, according to research by IDC.

A new white paper by the analyst entitled “Cost-efficient print and document management through smart MFPs” has found that such devices are being seen as cost-effective investment, ahead of the likes of costly ERP systems, to increase efficiencies in workflows, freeing up staff for higher value tasks. The white paper was commissioned by OKI.

The research found that more than two thirds (67%) of small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) in Europe are making productivity a priority. However, while cloud services are giving businesses affordable access to sophisticated technology, just one in three (30%) businesses are planning how they will accommodate and manage information growth in an increasingly digital world.

Adding to this uncertainty, the whitepaper identified that legacy document-related challenges are wasting time and causing a 20% loss in employee productivity, which equates to more than two working months a year. Similarly, despite the fact that emerging technologies including mobility, big data, social business and cloud raise security concerns, three-quarters (75%) of smaller businesses were found to have no security system in place, leaving them exposed to risk.

The new generation of smart MFPs are a ray of light for small businesses, as the whitepaper outlined the functionality now available in the devices helps to improve workflow and productivity by facilitating smarter business operations and process efficiencies for SMBs.

“Acting as on ramps and off ramps to the cloud,” says the whitepaper, “smart MFPs extend the utilisation of the device from primarily printing and copying paper-based pages to a customisable digital transformation tool, enabling companies to capture, integrate and communicate information”

According to the research, smart MFPs have the potential to act as a platform for growth by providing cost and time-efficient workflow solutions that improve compliance and security while supporting key business objectives such as mobility, along with cost-cutting initiatives. In this manner, they have the potential to help redefine how day-to-day business workflow is performed.

This is particularly essential for smaller businesses (SMBs), OKI asserts, as many such businesses are seeing growth hindered by internal processes, as well as coming under pressure to manage mobility and optimise resources. Using smart MFPs, businesses have the opportunity to alleviate these pressures and achieve substantial workflow benefits.

In addition to workflow strategy, smart MFPs also provide the many businesses without document security in place the opportunity to control access to sensitive information with authentication tools and protect customers’ details using permission-based access.

“This comprehensive whitepaper by IDC identifies a number of business challenges and priorities that today’s smart MFPs can go a long way to address,” said Terry Kawashima, managing director, OKI Europe Ltd. “It also establishes a clear link between the devices and the requirements of modern businesses.”

The whitepaper is free to download, but requires a registration.



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