The moment at which a company starts to wonder whether or not it is optimizing its IT printing systems is an ideal opportunity for this same company to extend the evaluation process to its entire document generation cycle and analyze how it is being managed as a whole.
Over the past few years, printing habits have changed considerably due to the current economic situation and the resulting drop in the number of printed pages. In fact, the market trends suggest that there will be increasingly more scanning and less printing.
In this sense, the new global corporate strategy that moves from printing processes to document management software is affecting both small and large companies, and this change undoubtedly involves digitizing a large number and a wide variety of documents. In other words, in a market where the number of printed documents is decreasing, the scanner will become a major ally in management processes of business data.
Redefining Business Strategies for Document Management
The new economic situation has obliged suppliers of print hardware to reconsider the business strategies that redefine printing processes in the IT market. Specifically, they have analyzed the future role of printing, and their analysis is based on the following aspects:
- The trends that define how corporations and consumers will be operating in a few years time.
- How users are expected to interact with printed documents, social network and media, and with all communication channels in general.
In other words, the sector is fully aware of the fact that the print industry needs to be redefined and renovated if it wants to remain competitive, and this renovation process should be based on innovation, mobility and document printing in the Cloud.
Innovating Document Management and Printing
Although digital communications are growing, some printed material and documents are still essential in day-to-day business, especially in medium and small companies.
Innovation, however, is not only applicable to large corporations. Small and medium companies should also provide flexibility and mobility in their business processes related to document management and printing. These companies could, for example, opt for mobile printing using the latest inkjet printers.
Prime examples of printing-related innovation are the 3D printer, which generates a three dimensional solid object by adding material, or the Toshiba printer model that allows users to remove ink from pages and reuse paper up to five times.
Mobility in Document Printing
A study assigned to RS Consulting by Canon in 2012 ensures that 43% of surveyed employees consider it essential to be able to print business documents such as insurance policies and receipts from their mobile devices. However, another study conducted by IDG reveals that 52% of the people that use a smartphone for their jobs cannot print from their devices, which indicates a clear technological gap. This mismatch becomes even more evident with an IDG prediction that suggests that in the year 2015, 37,2% of the world´s active population will be mobile.
As a curiosity, the Korean multinational company LG Electronics has recently launched its pocket printer called Pocket Photo, a wireless device that prints high quality pictures using Zink technology.
Document printing has also reached the Cloud. According to the previously mentioned RS Consulting report, more than half of the European companies – 51% to be more accurate – would like to be able to directly send, process and print documents via Cloud applications. Undoubtedly, this would be an important step ahead in the pursuit of less inefficient processes, cost reduction and faster decision making.
In short, document printing is an area of a company´s technological infrastructure that tends to be overlooked, but companies need to be aware of the fact that efficient print management is one of the key factors when it comes to facing cost and quality-related business challenges.