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Making printing part of Digital Transformation

Making printing part of Digital Transformation

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Germán Daza, Marketing Product Manager for Latin America Solutions and Software at Lexmark, discusses the future of printing operations in business environments. 

It’s not a surprise to anyone that, in the last year, the adoption of new technologies evolved so rapidly that advances were made that were only expected to happen in the next five years.

Thanks to the pandemic, companies were forced to adopt tools that would allow them to continue their operations remotely. Consequently, printing and imaging service providers had to transform.

Germán Daza, Marketing Product Manager for Latin America Solutions and Software at Lexmark

Research from PwC suggests that cloud spending increased by 37% in Q1 2020 to allow staff to work remotely or flexibly and that companies are understandably looking to the cloud as a means of ensuring access to critical information and resources wherever staff are working, including printing processes.

Of course, each industry and even each company undergoes its transformation based on specific needs and objectives, but they all have something in common: printing. Even when print volumes appear to be decreasing, critical activities still require this process.

According to an IDC study, half of the back-office workflow processes still have significant printing requirements (labelling, guides, contracts, financial reports, among others). At the same time, the digitization of content and the migration from paper to digital is fundamental to any Digital Transformation strategy.

But how do you make printers work when they are away from the central office? Currently, some solutions allow the management of devices remotely, which among other characteristics, integrate security schemes to prevent the information contained in the documents from being available to anyone.

While document printing requires a physical device, the new options provide the ability to not have a computer in every home. For example, by assembling small printing fleets, users will be able to go to the nearest designated location to meet their printing needs easily and securely.

This way, employees can focus on their work without having to be physically at the company and still complete printing requirements when needed. This is possible thanks to the benefits of the cloud, print management schemes and the design of tailor-made solutions for companies to continue with their operational processes.

Today, with the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud connectivity, printers are fleets of connected devices and can be centrally managed to ensure availability for employees no matter where they are located, and are secure, compliant and up-to-date with the latest software.

In addition to IoT, there is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics for the configuration and monitoring of each printer. In the specific case of Lexmark, the sensors collect hundreds of data on the use of devices, their operation and environmental conditions.

This information makes it possible to identify and predict stock failures before they happen. Additionally, Lexmark can remotely diagnose and resolve issues in 70% of cases.

In business terms, companies can forget about the difficult task of physically having print servers and delegate management of their resources to a third party. Thus, reducing the workload for the company’s IT department.

By moving the printing infrastructure to the cloud and implementing a robust print management solution, which includes tailored security schemes, the remote printing service can be included in the remote work policies within the Digital Transformation journey. And, above all, ensure a better allocation of resources and protection of the environment.

As can be seen, the ability to leverage advanced printing technologies, combined with process analytics aided by AI, IoT and other innovations, can help organizations achieve their specific Digital Transformation goals around content security and information management.

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