By Andy Lau | The promise of the paper-free office has not materialized, mainly because organizations still rely on paper-based documents, which is unlikely to change in the near future. However, the way businesses work with documents has changed. Most organizations take a hybrid approach, where paper-based documents are scanned to become digital, while digital documents are printed to become paper-based. Through it all, workflows help keep documents moving between people and organizations.
Until now, printing, scanning, and document workflow industries have been as simple as that. Users print, scan, and send documents for collaboration and approval. However, as organizations’ use of technology becomes more sophisticated through digital transformation, the way they approach printing, scanning, and document workflow is also changing.
This article explores six essential printing, scanning, and document workflow trends that organizations should be aware of in 2019 to avoid being left behind by savvier competitors.
Expectations are changing
As organizations face challenges ahead in addressing digital disruption, vendors and partners need to demonstrate agility and vision to be at the forefront of meeting customers’ needs. Customers are looking for solutions that help them in their digital transformation, and this can include business processes beyond the traditional print and capture areas. For example, customers are increasingly looking to automate workflows such as invoice processing and human resources management.
As digital transformation continues and businesses look for ways of ensuring an efficient, smooth-running office of the future, they will want to use one supplier for multiple document management solutions to bring about a simpler support model. Companies will start to look at one-stop shops that offer comprehensive solutions–both print management and document capture with software and hardware support–through one equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Artificial intelligence in the print industry
The potential disruption that AI brings to the print industry is significant. Through digital transformation projects, organizations will be looking for solutions that support productivity, efficiency, and cost savings, and AI has a crucial part to play in these areas.
AI is often used in predictive maintenance as well as paper-to-digital workflows; however, there is room to develop these further by enhancing existing products and services. The increase of analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive further innovation and disruption using automation and robotics.
One of the benefits and drivers toward the adoption of AI is the enhancement of defense measures against security threats. By using AI to enhance security measures, the decision-making process will become streamlined. The automated system can detect and stop attacks quickly while learning and adapting by using data.
Security will continue to be a high priority
With more connected devices entering the workplace and an increased emphasis on IoT, these touchpoints will continue to rise. As organizations update their security measures, they will need to ensure there is close collaboration between the IT department, the enterprise solution provider, and the service provider.
Enterprise workflow solutions are typically embedded as part of a multifunction device’s (MFD) set of features. Since they often communicate to third-party systems, the security of the entire system must be considered. Therefore, it is important for close collaboration between the enterprise solution provider, MFD service provider, and IT department.
Reassessment of print infrastructures
Managing a multitude of devices, licenses, and applications across a large organization can feel like an impossible task. As organizations look for ways to reduce costs and increase security, it is common for enterprise print and scan management to take a backseat. However, over time, organizations can lose control of their print and scan as they grow, especially if their operations span across multiple locations.
This lack of control can be detrimental to the company, as an enterprise’s print infrastructure is an integral part of its overall IT environment. Making simple changes and adopting a fully-integrated print and document capture solution can help organizations achieve their aims to reduce costs and improve security.
About the Author
Andy Lau is the regional sales manager for office solution provider Y Soft’s Singapore division, with a strong focus on Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. He is passionate about helping organizations in the East Asia region develop positive and transformative workflow solutions. Andy has more than 12 years’ experience in the market. He was previously part of the technical team for Toshiba Malaysia, where he was responsible for the installation and configuration of YSoft SafeQ for its customers, customer training, and managing managed print service project deployments. Before that, Andy was part of the corporate pre-sales and solutions team for Toshiba.