IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Is the 'smart office' the way of the future?

By Shannon Williams
Thu 14 Jul 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Businesses that fail to keep up with the latest ‘smart office’ technology are likely to fall behind in terms of productivity and competiveness, according to Konica Minolta.

The managed services firm says technology has already changed the way we work, turning any location into a mobile office. It says businesses may find it harder to attract top-performing talent if they don’t adjust.

“Most organisations have wireless networks and want to let employees work from anywhere and be equally productive,” says Shane Blandford, sales and marketing director, Konica Minolta.

“Collaboration is a key element of most knowledge workers’ roles, so letting people collaborate from anywhere is also critical,” he explains.

“Ultimately, smart offices aim to increase efficiency and productivity, and improve workflows for employees. The trick for today’s businesses is to choose the right technology and processes to invest in, and then maximise their utilisation.”

Blandford says putting smart solutions in place delivers measurable benefits in four key areas:

1. Cost management

Smarter processes like pull printing can cut printing costs by an average of 30%. Users can print documents from anywhere, securely, and track all printing activity, reduce waste, and contain costs. Documents are sent to a central queueing system and are released only when the user identifies them at the printer. People therefore only print what they need, resulting in cost savings. And, because users need to be physically present at the printer before documents will print, security is also improved. Using, pull printing, users can also achieve improved auditing, better efficiency, reduced paper wastage, and improved environmental efficiency.

Smart printers can also allocate the cost of printing to specific users and their cost centres. As a result, businesses can more accurately account for which departments have the most need for printers. Decision-makers can then more accurately decide when to purchase new printers, how many and what types of devices to purchase, and where to locate them within the office.

“By monitoring and controlling your printing, scanning, and copying processes, and knowing who is printing what, when, and how much, businesses can identify inefficiencies and start changing employee habits,” says Blandford.

“Implementing a PIN or swipe card (usually your building access card) to access the printer can have a substantial impact, such as enforcing simple rules like black-and-white printing and automatic duplexing. Businesses need to choose devices that offer this range of cost management features,” he explains.

2. Efficiency

Data capture software which uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is a widely-used business solution. When users can search scanned documents, or edit read-only PDFs, they can be more efficient. 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.

Data capture solutions offer an enhanced extension of scanning. Users can capture specific data and transfer it into other files such as standard templates and forms. This lets businesses automate workflows and reduce manual processes.

Furthermore, enterprise content management (ECM) solutions mean people spend less time searching for information and more time adding value. Users can establish workflows for documents that require approval, automating the process to save time. ECM solutions also save space, reducing the number of physical filing cabinets required.

“Automation is a key way to become more efficient and effective, and most organisations are embracing it wherever possible,” Blandford explains.

“By adopting technology and software that automates processes that were previously manual, organisations can see significant time and cost savings.”

3. Mobility

As businesses embrace mobility, it remains essential to be able to print from any device. Employees can then be more productive, since they don’t have to fire up a computer in order to print. It’s ideal for employees that travel for business, don’t work regularly on-site, or work part-time from a home office.

“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,” says Blandford.

4. Security

Document security is paramount in many businesses. Relying on employees to keep documents secure is important but it doesn’t guarantee that sensitive documents won’t be left lying on printers, for example.

Document security solutions can help businesses 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,” Blandford says.

“Protecting confidential information is crucial for every business, so it’s important to choose technology that lets you secure your data, he explains/.

Blandford says there is a broad variety of smart technology available to help make organisations more competitive and efficient.

“By focusing on one area at a time, such as printing and document workflows, organisations can maximise the benefits of smart technology while delivering a workplace that lets employees focus on delivering value rather than on mundane, administrative tasks.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks' cloud security platform receives IRAP assessment
"We provide help protect all forms of compute, cloud native services and access to data within public and private sectors."
Story image
Apple
Jamf introduces new content filtering solution for education providers
Jamf has announced the launch of Jamf Safe Internet, a new offering that looks to deliver a safe online experience to students while offering better management options for admins.
Story image
Infrastructure
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Paessler
Sebastian Krüger joins us today to discuss how unified infrastructure monitoring enables MSPs to seamlessly deliver services to their clients.
Story image
Solutions
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Cloud is a tool, not a destination
For many years, “cloud” has been thought of as a destination which has led to a misguided strategy that sees an enterprise trying to shift all its applications to a single cloud provider – regardless of the specific needs and nuances of each individual workload.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce announces new innovations for financial services
Salesforce has launched expanded financial services that offer more targeted and trusted automation to help teams unlock insights, deliver better customer service, and drive operational efficiencies.
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria entrusts Oracle support and security to Rimini Street
“Our finance team are very happy with the support and security that Rimini Street provides, which keeps our assets and our customers secure."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Ransomware
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Amazon
What brands can expect from Amazon Prime Day in Australia
Amazon Prime Day is the annual two-day shopping event, kicking off this year from July 12-13 and is the global online shopping platform's biggest sales event. 
Story image
Remote Working
RDP attacks on the rise, Kaspersky experts offer advice
"Given that remote work is here to stay, we urge companies to seriously look into securing their remote and hybrid workforce to protect their data."
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
Malware
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Story image
IDTechEx
The next stage for 5G in thermal materials - IDTechEx
IDTechEx says higher frequency deployments, such as mmWave devices and very different station types such as small cells, present their own technological evolution and, with it, thermal challenges. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Infrastructure
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Manufacturing
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
Low-code
Appian unveils low-code certification program in Australia
Appian has announced a program to provide the next generation of low-code developers with access to education on the subject and certification to foster career opportunities.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Robotics
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Story image
Voice recognition
Renesas and Cyberon expand services with voice recognition
“We are honoured to collaborate with Renesas to simplify the development of embedded voice recognition functions."
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell named Frankston facility services provider
Honeywell has been named the joint facility services provider for Frankston Hospital’s AU$1.1 billion redevelopment.