Tomorrow’s Office: It’s all Digital

Authored By: Soma Tah

The term ‘office automation’ typically refers to the hardware, software and processes that digitize, process, store, and communicate most routine tasks and processes in a standard office. The idea is to keep the data and communication in one place so that it becomes organized and easily accessible. Accessing information quickly can save a lot of time and free up employees to take care of larger work processes. In addition, smarter office automation processes and technologies are also allowing for interactivity, collaboration, and creativity in the workplace and can drastically reduce the cost of operation too.

However, digitizing end-to-end work processes can consume plenty of resources. Getting it done requires analysis of every paper-based facet of the business before effective action can be taken. With office automation becoming more of a necessity, the unification of task procedures is becoming possible.

Printing and Collaboration

Siva Kumar, General Manager, Inkjet Printers, Epson India says, “In today’s world, easy and simple connectivity between the PC’s, smart devices and peripherals is necessary for employees to have easy accessibility to the tools they need for their daily work tasks. Printers have been an integral part of any office. And growing smart device usage
at offices demands wireless connectivity with printers, either accessing directly or through Wi-Fi network. Anyone and everyone can print documents by simply connecting their laptops or phones or even a tablet to the printer.”

“Even when we look at how presentations are made, there have been a lot of advancements. Projectors have played an important role in many boardroom meetings where businessmen use presentations to capture the attention of the participants. For a long time, the emphasis was given towards creating interesting and captivating presentations.
Today, Interactive projectors are more than enough to captivate the audience. Interactive projectors allow finger touch control thereby allowing the presenters to annotate, draw, save & share collaborative work to multiple participants from different locations thereby allowing participants to witness changes being made real-time!,” says Satyanarayanan P, Director of LFP, Visual products & Robots, Epson India.

“We see our customers navigating the intersection of physical and digital worlds, and they are looking to us for solutions that are simple, secure and mobile. We are currently investing in new business solutions and applications that help improve productivity and simplify the work process for a number of sectors, focusing mainly on the banking, health, hospitality, telecommunications, and government sectors. Our solutions help customers save money, automates steps, boosts productivity, and improves document security and environmental sustainability. With the help of next-generation services, we aim to maximum effectiveness, security, mobility and overall cost reduction,” says Ritesh Gandotra, Director – Managed Document Services, Xerox India.

Advent of Digital

Business’s processes have been held back by paper-based activities for so many years. But it’s changing slowly. Keeping in mind the end goal to be significant and consistent with your representatives and clients in the present day and age, digital strategy is key to an organization’s success. Internally, from a productivity and employee well-being perspective, and externally, from a customer-engagement point of view, the transformation is shepherded by the adoption of technologies like Cloud, Mobility, Analytics and Collaboration tools to stay relevant. Research from a renowned global analyst firm to understand CIO’s top priorities highlighted that adoption of digital technologies, security and mobility invariably made it to the top ten priorities.

“Over the course of time, Indian organizations have evolved from siloed workforce to a globally connected workforce. Today, people want to work and contribute as part of the growing mobile workforce. In the coming years, workplaces will evolve with greater magnitude and more technologically driven. With the help of digital workplaces, an organization will be able to utilize new tools that help deliver goals by implementing a stronger sense of culture and community. Our goal is to make sure we provide technology – both hardware and software and the way they both can work together to enable employees to work from anywhere, anytime, says Gandotra.

In 2017, many businesses shifted their focus to adopting new digital technologies to not only to serve customers better but also to streamline internal processes.

Steps to transform:
While most businesses recognize the need, only a few know how and what is required to get the initiative started and make it a reality. If a business wants to stay relevant and grow, it’s no longer enough to just deliver great products. People are looking for experiences from their personal lives to cross over into the workplace. For this reason, organizations must move beyond the digital transformation buzzword and explore ‘transformational experiences’, reimagine how companies and people connect and work. As with any new process, companies must follow certain steps to approach transformation in a logical way.

Understanding: It is important for businesses to understand how and where to use paper and technology today, and identify what could change. It is also important to assess how the two connect and implement simple tweaks that could dramatically streamline business workflows.

Education: It is crucial to set targets, build a case, and change user behaviour – gradually. People can be fearful of change, but reminding employees of the long-term benefits will help them stay motivated and work with the company, not against it.

Activate: Once problems have been identified, businesses need to make the transition and replace key functions and processes with digital equivalents which improve the experience overall.

Assess and improve: Remember that this will be a continuous journey as technology continues to evolve. Leverage the opportunity to use data and automation to take your transformation to the next level.

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