One of the biggest evolutions in modern business is BYOD (bring your own device) and cloud technology paving the way for remote and flexible working. Increasingly, many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also benefiting from affordable access to sophisticated technology.
By 2018, IDC says three quarters of the workforce will be mobile, resulting in a more connected working environment.
By Tetsuya Kuri, vice president marketing, OKI Europe
However, the new digital era for business presents a number of pressure points for the modern SMB, as a mobile workforce needs anytime, anywhere access to information to maintain and increase productivity. Simultaneously, SMBs are under pressure to do more with the same or fewer resources.
Moving towards anywhere, anytime flexibility
In its latest whitepaper: ‘Are your business processes stifling your market opportunity? Cost-efficient print and document management through smart MFPs’, IDC confirms that meeting the requirements of this changing environment requires next-generation printers to support working anywhere and at any time.
While today, most businesses continue to use a combination of paper and digital documents, research by IDC shows a third of European companies are planning for a digital world. As this continues, smart multifunction printers (MFPs) can play an important role in helping firms move away from paper towards more collaborative, digitised processes.
Devices such as smartphones and tablets are an increasingly popular way of accessing business information. As well as offering secure printing, smart MFPs therefore need to offer the functionality to enable small business users to print seamlessly from all types of modern devices.
Smart MFPs – the key to safeguarding business data
As demand for productivity tools that meet the needs of the modern worker continues to rise, smart MFPs look set to move centre stage as a workplace technology. Acting as ‘on-ramps and off-ramps to the cloud’, IDC says they are no longer simply a printing and copying facility (or ‘dumb device’), but have become a customisable digital transformation tool.
With access to scanning functionality, SMB users can digitise information for searchable access and scan direct to a specific destination, eliminating the need for a paper trail. The ability to scan direct to email, a network or cloud-based folder for further use or archiving, also makes the devices well-suited to the 66 per cent of European companies which say the ability to have archived documents in a single location is a key benefit of automating business processes.
Meanwhile, functions such as secure ID cards and secure PIN controls eliminate the security concerns raised by ‘anywhere and anytime’ information access, reassuring SMB businesses that sensitive company and customer data is protected and handled in accordance with industry regulations.
The fact that smart MFPs respond to SMBs’ security and productivity challenges makes them an intelligent choice for European SMBs navigating the changing demands of the modern workplace.
OKI Europe is mindful that BYOD has become a business reality. The fact that smart MFPs can be configured to streamline workflow and simplify document distribution and management makes them an important asset in the management of BYOD and workforce mobility.
To support this growing business need, OKI Europe’s portfolio of smart MFPs offers businesses the flexibility to print directly from smartphones, tablets and other devices, helping busy professionals remain productive when working away from the office.