Sunday, 13 March 2016

IDC: Smart MFPs are ‘redefining workflow’

 

New whitepaper sponsored by OKI Europe says latest multifunctional devices extend the remit of printers from paper-based processes to a ‘customisable digital transformation tool’

Egham, February, 2016 – Smart multifunction printers (MFPs) are helping to ‘redefine how workflow is performed’ a new IDC whitepaper has confirmed.
Entitled ‘Are your business processes stifling your market opportunity? Cost-efficient print and document management through smart MFPs’, it was written by Jacqui Hendriks, IDC's Head of European Managed Print Services and Document Solutions research and consulting practice.
Highlighting the need for workflow improvements, IDC’s research found 67% of small to medium-sized businesses in Europe are making productivity a priority. However, while cloud services are giving businesses affordable access to sophisticated technology, just one in three businesses are planning how they will accommodate and manage information growth in an increasingly digital world.
The whitepaper also identified that legacy document-related challenges are wasting time and causing a huge 20% loss in employee productivity the equivalent to over 2 working months a year. Similarly, despite the fact that emerging technologies including mobility, big data, social business and cloud raise security concerns, three-quarters of SMBs were found to have no security system in place, leaving them exposed to risk.
In addition to raising these challenges, the IDC whitepaper outlined the functionality now available in the latest smart MFPs that help to improve workflow and productivity by facilitating smarter business operations and process efficiencies for SMBs. It states: “Acting as on ramps and off ramps to the cloud, 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.”
Looking closely at other factors driving the need for change such as expanding IT challenges, the whitepaper points to the fact that companies must make crucial decisions about investment and priorities that support growth and competitive performance.
However, rather than turning straight to costly enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, organisations should first consider making smaller investments in customising workflow tools, which could provide them with sufficient automation and integration to drive up productivity in a shorter timeframe. 
According to IDC’s 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 regard, they have the potential to help redefine how day-to-day business workflow is performed.
This is particularly essential for smaller businesses (SMBs), many of which are seeing growth hindered by internal processes, as well as coming under pressure to manage mobility and optimise their resources. Using smart MFPs, SMBs 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 any 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,” says Terry Kawashima, managing director, OKI Europe Ltd. “It also establishes a clear link between the devices and the requirements of modern businesses.”
OKI Europe’s portfolio of smart MFPs combine a range of features to capture and process information more intelligently, helping employees work more productively. The cost-effective solutions combine sophisticated software, advanced technology and open architecture, enabling them to integrate seamlessly with existing document workflows.
This in-built flexibility responds to the 70% of European SMBs that IDC has found adopt business process automation tools for increased employee productivity and means MFPs can be scaled up in line with future growth, as well as new business and technology trends.
For further information and to receive a copy of the whitepaper and infographic, visit www.okime.ae/smartmfps

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