IDC says Europe's workforce will be mostly mobile by 2018

Three quarters of the Western European workforce will be mobile by 2018 and require the ability to access and process information quickly and securely in order to maintain and increase productivity, a new whitepaper from the analysts IDC has found.

In addressing this changing environment, the IDC whitepaper states smart multifunction printers (smart MFPs) need to provide the option to digitise documents while safeguarding sensitive company data against any threats or viruses by providing secure printing from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Titled: ‘Are your business processes stifling your market opportunity? Cost-efficient print and document management through smart MFPs’, the whitepaper was compiled by Jacqui Hendriks, IDC’s Head of European Managed Print Services and Document Solutions research and consulting practice.

In order to manage the continued increase in mobility, the whitepaper confirms that organisations need to have control over how people work from their own personal (BYOD or ‘bring-your-own-device’) and business mobiles. They must protect a company’s intellectual property while still allowing employees ‘anytime and anywhere’ access to maintain efficient working practices through the use of mobile print applications and configured data access.

In 2013, an IDC European usage study on print services market trends found that a third of companies allowed their employees to use their own personal smartphones, laptops and tablets. When IDC asked SMBs about their opinions on business process efficiency, a high number agreed that they needed to improve their processes, with employee mobility being a strong driver in support of digitised processes.

Confirming the role of smart MFPs in the modern business workplace, the whitepaper points out that: “Smart MFPs extend the utilisation of the device to a customisable digital transformation tool. They can act as a platform for growth by providing cost and time-efficient workflow solutions aligned with and in support of companies’ business objectives, such as improving compliance and security while supporting mobility and cost-cutting initiatives.”

Tetsuya Kuri, vice president, OKI Europe Ltd, added: “BYOD has changed from being a business trend to business reality. The fact that smart MFPs can be configured to streamline workflow and simplify document distribution and management makes them an important asset in the management of BYOD and workforce mobility.”

OKI Europe’s portfolio of smart MFPs include a range of powerful, smart devices that offer businesses the freedom and flexibility to print directly from smartphones, tablets and other devices, helping busy professionals to stay productive.

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