Nowadays, most organisations have wireless networks and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, and are happy to let employees work from anywhere to be more productive. This can create efficiencies within the business if you can harness smart technologies to shave costs and improve productivity.
The key for your business is to choose the right technology and processes to invest in, then maximise their utilisation.
A smart office can save you money. Take printing, for example. It’s been estimated that many offices can reduce their printing cost by an average of 30% 1 by implementing a document management system. There are some simple changes you can make to reduce costs quickly. For example, implementing software that releases documents only when the user is at the printer means that documents aren’t forgotten, left lying around or thrown away and re-printed. In addition, limiting unnecessary printing of colour copies by applying simple rules or reporting requirements can save you even more.
Data capture solutions can save time and money by turning paper-based documents into electronic ones that can be saved, edited, and re-sent. This lets you automate workflows and reduce manual processes.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is a widely-used business solution that converts complex documents fast and accurately so users can search and edit them, and replace inconvenient and time-consuming paper-based processes with streamlined and efficient electronic workflows.
Add to this enterprise content management (ECM) solutions, and you’ll find people spend less time searching for information and more time adding value.
Mobility’s greatest value is in the fact that users have access to all the information they need through a device no bigger than their hand. Being able to print seamlessly from this device is the final piece of the mobility puzzle.
It’s important for employees that travel for business, don’t work regularly on-site, or work part-time from a home office. With mobile printing, they can be just as productive as a full-time, office-based worker.
Relying on employees to keep documents secure is important but it doesn’t guarantee that sensitive documents won’t be left lying on printers.
Document security solutions can help you by delivering more control. For example, when employees use swipe cards to release printing at the printer, sensitive documents are less likely to be left unclaimed. Configuring who can see what in ECM solutions and encrypting data while en route to printers makes it less likely that unauthorised people will see secure documents.
As workers become more mobile and start printing remotely more often, document security will become paramount.
There is a broad variety of smart technology available to help make you more competitive and efficient. Look for reliability and useability. Your smart office equipment must be able to keep up with the demands of your business. Technology should be intuitive and easy to use, with interfaces that mimic the familiar mobile technology people are already comfortable with.
1 A CXO’s Guide to Managed Print Services, Photizo Group, 2011
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