How to Derive ROI from Your Back-Office Technology

Seven ways that optimizing IT can result in a significant return

Mark McCullough, Business Development Manager, Lexmark Canada Inc.
Mark McCullough, Business Development Manager, Lexmark Canada Inc.

We are in the toughest economic climate in recent memory. As a result, it’s no wonder that businesses, from the smallest organization to the largest multinational enterprise, are stepping up their already frantic search to slash costs and retain liquidity. In this rush to maintain profitability, many organizations are simply cutting back on their IT investments or eliminating certain functions altogether. However, more strategic companies are realizing that they can actually derive a return on their economic investment by optimizing their IT spending. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for ways to do exactly that.

Replace printers, copiers, and scanners with a single device. When was the last time you sent a fax? Or needed to print on ledger-sized paper? With the move toward digital, the demand for mammoth machines that can take up entire back offices has been nearly eliminated. These days, businesses are opting for multifunctional printers that are not only compact but that give them more bang for their buck.

Enhance your business with solutions. The technology advancements available on the market today mean there is no need for tedious data entry or manual back-office processes. With document work flows in your HR, finance, and legal departments, more time can be focused on the activities that matter most to your bottom line—wowing your current customers and prospects alike.

Stop filing paperwork. There’s no need for your employees to spend hours filing when you can automatically send your paperwork to the correct electronic files with the right scanner or copier. Easily scan and index invoices or contracts for approval, processing, and syncing with your ERP and accounting software.

Don’t forget about sustainability. As organizations become increasingly cognizant about sustainability issues, they often forget that printing can reduce unnecessary paper and electricity consumption. By implementing practices such as two-sided printing, you could save cost that directly correlates with ROI. Another plus side: it also makes your organization and employees better corporate citizens.

Make it easy for your employees to work on their mobile devices. There’s no denying that the BYOD trend is here and, with 75 percent of organizations allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work, it’s not going anywhere. To increase productivity, enable mobile printing so that employees can access documents whenever, wherever—and all with the press of a single button.

Plan for  disaster recovery. Disaster can occur at any moment—whether it’s a hurricane, a power outage, or a cup of coffee spilled on essential IT equipment. Make sure you have a plan in place to ensure that your employees know how to communicate, where to go, and how to access critical files. One way to safeguard against losing information is to save digital documents to printer hard drives so they can be accessed in case of an outage or some other kind of disruption.

Realize that not everything needs to be printed.  Think about the number of times you’ve sent a document to the printer and forgotten all about it until a colleague drops it off at your desk. Printers that require users to authenticate themselves and confirm the jobs they want to print eliminate wasted paper, ink, and electricity by ensuring that employees only print what they really need.