In the 30 years we’ve been serving the Mid-Atlantic region, we’ve seen our clients face many changes and challenges to their businesses. With determination, grit, and resourcefulness, they pushed through those tough times, and Centric Business Systems is proud have supported their journeys with innovative document management solutions and services. This year, the coronavirus brought about office and workforce changes, introducing new business dynamics that shape the way we work. Firms were under pressure to not only maintain business operations while employees worked remotely, but also prepare offices so employees could return safely. Three areas that have been affected by those dynamics are digital transformation efforts, printing and print management, and document/data security.
Many organizations have been digitally transforming and automating business processes for some time, and in a recent AIIM survey, three-fourths of organizations said process automation is a “must-do.” Yet, far too many firms still rely on paper documents for critical business processes. In the age of remote and hybrid workforces, transforming that core content into a format that can be used in a digital, automated process is more important than ever. Additionally, making sure the business process is well defined, easy to understand and that employees have the tools and solutions to complete their tasks is critical.
Numerous technology solutions are available to transform and automate business processes such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, human resources, discovery, and many other industry-specific processes. These solutions can relieve bottlenecks, increase accuracy, and improve employee and customer satisfaction. In order to implement them, it’s critical to understand the specific workflow needs that make up the process. Performing a comprehensive workflow analysis, Centric learns what clients want to accomplish and uncovers what is preventing the desired result. Our team then crafts solutions using these technologies, that ensure employees have convenient and secure access to the business information needed, as well as tools to carry out associated workflows from wherever they may be working with greater ease.
Even as digital transformation has accelerated, a “paper-free” office does not yet exist. In one survey, 70% of U.S. establishments stated that paper is an important part of their business. Even with a hybrid onsite/remote workforce, firms continue to need printers and multifunctional devices (MFD) in the office, and some may find the need to supply a work-from-home (WFH) employee with such a device (albeit a smaller model). Managing office printing costs, which can be as high as 15% of a organization’s total revenue, continue to be essential for long-term success. Additionally, as employees return to the office, there are new concerns around frequently touched surfaces such as the operator panels of printers and MFDs.
A managed print services (MPS) solution can reduce costs associated with wasted prints, the time IT staff spends on print problems, and even energy costs. An MPS solution can also improve efficiency and productivity by automating supplies replenishment and enabling proactive/predictive servicing. MPS also increases security by enforcing secure print and user authentication and preventing unauthorized users from printing or scanning documents containing sensitive information.
Apps like Ricoh’s Smart Device Connector or Sharp’s MFP Voice are touchless print, copy, and scan solutions that enable an employee to control a printer or MFD without having to touch its operator panel. This additional measure adds peace of mind for users of shared surfaces, and lets teams focus on the real business of the organization rather than worrying about whether the “print” button has been sterilized.
Cybersecurity threats grow each year, and the remote workforce offers more fertile ground for cybercriminals. Beginning in the spring of 2020, the FBI reported four times more cybersecurity complaints than the agency received prior to the pandemic. It is more important than ever that all digital transformation solutions are created with security in mind. Printers and MFPs present significant vulnerabilities in the battle and should also be protected against the security risks they pose.
Making sure WFH employees use a business-grade VPN and that any technology issued to them has all authentication and data encryption enabled is an absolute must. Workflow solutions should have access controls and governance rules implemented to control who has access to sensitive information, how long the information is available, and when it needs to be archived or deleted. Print devices, like PCs and laptops, should require a user ID, password, or card login method to access. They should have data encryption enabled and use controls to secure, control, and track print and scan jobs. Security policies should describe how to handle and protect sensitive information, including the methods, processes, and technology used to secure that information. Additionally, an organization must regularly educate employees on those security policies and processes and the security features and habits they should use every day.
Centric Business Solutions understands the business process and office printing security needs that are called for in the new age of business automation. We can help in security planning, and provide the analysis, equipment, software, and managed services that help organizations meet the new challenges of today and the future.
The year 2020 brought a historically different set of changes and challenges to our clients. Centric supported our client family with the same resolve, commitment, and unparalleled support that we’ve shown over the past 30 years. As we move into 2021 and a “new normal” in many business dynamics, we remain committed to helping organizations craft, implement, and use the best office automation and document management solutions. If you’re looking to gain better control of your document management processes, from automating workflows to printing and information security, contact us and put our experience to work for you today.