How COVID-19 impacted print and document management

18 Jun 2021

Over the past year, much has been made of the impacts of COVID-19 on the business world. While some businesses struggled to find a path to success in the changed landscape, others have been building their way back strongly. One of the biggest changes for workers and companies alike has been the broadscale move to remote working. And, with fewer workers in the office to use multifunction devices and more work being done digitally rather than in hard copy, the effects on print and document management have been profound.

An increase in digital work meant that print volumes declined significantly due to the pandemic; research by Quocirca showed that 80 per cent of those working from home are printing less and working more digitally.1 This preference is likely to continue even when workers return to work in offices, whether that return is full time or a hybrid approach. Even in the office, things will have changed. Social distancing measures required to limit the spread of COVID-19 will lead to fewer open-plan offices, for example, leading to a more distributed print environment. 

However, this doesn’t mean that printing and document management no longer have a role to play in the modern workplace. There are four ways organisations can continue to leverage investments in printing and document management solutions:

1. Move printer management to the cloud

Businesses have moved vast swathes of their operations to the cloud and printing should be no exception. Cloud-based systems are accessible from anywhere and provide cost-effective, sustainable, and scalable infrastructure. Putting printing infrastructure in the cloud can make it easier to manage printers regardless of location, including printers in home-based offices. By provisioning printers to home-based employees, organisations can maintain consistency and security around printing.

2. Manage workflows and documents digitally

As workers become more accustomed to working digitally, and consumers become more comfortable with digital processes, organisations can build value and improve the customer experience by managing workflows and documents online. With smart multifunction devices, businesses can automate processes and capture paper-based data and information digitally. This can reduce errors and speed up time to value for customers, leading to stronger customer loyalty in the long term.

3. Make physical devices safer by reducing touch-based interactions

The office printer can be a breeding ground for germs and viruses, especially the coronavirus. Even with regular sanitising, companies can’t always be certain that these devices are perfectly clean. Therefore, the best way to minimise the risk of infection and contamination is to reduce the requirement for users to interact with the devices physically. Touchless technology using smart cards or biometrics to configure and release print jobs can both empower employees and reduce their risk of contracting an illness.

4. Secure printers across the organisation

Home-based printers can be less secure than those located in the office, as they don’t reside behind a corporate firewall and don’t tend to include the same security features as corporate-owned devices. Furthermore, tracking printing volumes for chargeback purposes is practically impossible with home-based devices. However, with the right managed print services solutions, organisations can secure and track their printing regardless of where it happens.

As organisations work to come back stronger from the disruption caused by COVID-19, it’s important to remain aware of the significant opportunities available to savvy businesses. To find out how Konica Minolta can help your business thrive in the new landscape, contact the team today.



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