As organisations continue to digitally transform and the working model skews towards a hybrid remote/office-based approach, it can be easy to overlook the ongoing need to print, scan, and fax. Multifunction devices can often be taken for granted; however, they can generate significant benefits in supporting digital transformation goals.
The illusion of a paper-free office is just that; an illusion. The reality is that print, scan, and fax functionality remains just as integral to knowledge work as ever. Quocirca's global Print 2025 report revealed that 64% of business users still expect printing to be important beyond 2025. Therefore, organisations need to understand how to leverage their multifunction devices to accelerate and support digital transformation.
Y Soft has identified the ways that multifunction devices support digital transformation across digital fax, automated scans, and cloud-based print management.
1. Digital fax
Fax remains an essential tool for businesses, especially in legal, real estate, or healthcare settings. Many organisations don't realise how much time and money they spend on analogue fax processes, while the best digital fax services provide simple and secure fax-to-email or delivered to the secure print queue for authenticated release.
Digital fax enhances communication and offers:
- cost savings by eliminating the need for analogue fax machines and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lines
- high availability, reliability, and uptime
- security and compliance with privacy legislation, Sarbanes Oxley, and ISO 27001, among others
- increased efficiency and productivity with easy-to-use technology
- more time for the IT team to spend on other projects instead of on fax help tickets.
2. Automated scans
Automated scan workflow solutions transform time-consuming, paper-based tasks into digital workflows. Users can seamlessly concert documents with predefined workflows specific to the task where all the settings are already made. Storing scans directly into a management system makes the documents easier to locate, share, and audit. More advanced technology includes optical character recognition (OCR) and barcode scanners, further enhancing the digital experience.
Key benefits provided by automated scans include:
- increased efficiency and productivity
- documents are easier to find using keyword search and can be edited
- reduced possibility of human error with more consistent, accurate documents
- increased security as documents are delivered with end-to-end security to their predefined destinations.
3. Cloud-based print management
Most businesses are leveraging the cloud wherever possible, including for office systems such as Microsoft 365. Using the cloud to host print systems can provide the same benefits as using the cloud for critical business processes. In fact, 43% of organisations now expect all IT infrastructure to be cloud-based.
Cloud-based printing replaces expensive and complicated print servers, saving money and IT sources on managing print servers and print derivers. And, when some staff work from home and some in the office, cloud-based printing can support printing securely on home printers as easily as in the office.
These solutions can include cloud-based print management to support businesses with rules-based printing, mobile printing, and comprehensive reporting. The benefits of cloud-based print management include:
- reduced or eliminated hardware to support print services
- reduced burden on IT staff
- easy to set up and use
- supports printing securely from anywhere so staff can work from home or the office equally securely.
Technology continues to evolve to make businesses more competitive and agile. Organisations are digitally transforming to keep up with market demands and achieve sustainable growth. The humble multifunction printer can provide significant benefits in digital transformation by supporting geographically dispersed workforces, hybrid work models, and secure communications.
Organisations should review their multifunction environment and consider how it can contribute to accelerated and successful digital transformation.