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Opportunities for IT Initiatives

11 Feb, 2009 By: Karen Cummings imageSource

Opportunities for IT Initiatives

all heard that there’s a bit of an economic shakeup underway around the world. 
And for many, those headlines are reason enough to batten down the IT hatches:
freeze hiring, cut projects, and slash budgets.  It’s hard to argue with that
kind of prudence, of course.  But for IT professionals who double as the
resident contrarians of their enterprises, 2009 represents an excellent
opportunity to do more, not less. 

That’s because, in leaner times, savvy enterprises place
greater importance on strategies and solutions that enhance productivity and cut
costs. It’s the “Now more than ever” philosophy.  Now – more than ever –
companies are recognizing that highly targeted IT initiatives with meaningful
returns and faster paybacks are an appropriate way forward.  Based on the early
indicators we have seen from leading MFP vendors and the document capture
market, these are a few key trends we expect to see in 2009.

Support for Green Initiatives

The “eco-footprint” remains a higher priority in Europe, as compared to the
U.S., but the drive for companies to create and maintain a “greener” corporate
environment continues to dominate the corporate agenda for many organizations. 
It’s pushed executives to re-focus on many aspects of their core business - in
particular, their paper consumption. 

an effective and well-implemented document capture and routing solution, the
movement of paper documents becomes part of the electronic document workflow.
From an environmental perspective, there’s no need to make multiple copies. That
reduces paper consumption and enables department to also dramatically reduce
their use of printer consumables such as ink or toner.  And there’s no need for
couriers and shipping companies to deliver copies to remote team members
(reducing fossil-fuel consumption).  

However, just as important, these greener processes are smarter processes. 
Companies can improve the accessibility of their information – providing 24/7
access from almost anywhere to any authorized user. The result: much faster
business processes and more efficient workflows.  Companies also improve the
security of their documents because there are no longer untold numbers of paper
copies floating around in the hands of multiple people.

Focus on Productivity Enhancements

With our softening economy, companies will be more likely to approve new
technology solutions that can pass a high level of scrutiny.  And in
corporations of every size, that scrutiny inevitably revolves around how IT can
accomplish any combination of these top corporate priorities: increase revenue,
increase productivity, or reduce costs.  A failure to adequately address at
least one of these imperatives means that impressive (but, perhaps less-focused)
technology initiatives will get dropped to the bottom of the project list - or
even shelved altogether. 

That’s one reason why document capture and routing solutions are attracting
such interest – even as companies count every dollar going out the door. 
Implemented effectively, a document capture and routing solution can put
companies in an entirely new – and better – operational and competitive
position. For instance, this technology can:

1. Increase revenue for companies, such as professional services
organizations, that can now bill more accurately and completely for
document-scanning activities.

2.Increase productivity by automating document-intensive processes and

3.Eliminate expenses by reducing print-related hard costs, decreasing
labor-intensive manual processes, and consolidating hardware & service
agreements related torinting,

Leverage & Expand the Corporate IT Infrastructure

The IT infrastructure represents a tremendous corporate investment and as
companies reassess their cost basis, the annual expense to maintain that
hardware and software is a significant line item that draws attention. Few
organizations will show much interest in expensive proposals to expand that
computing footprint.  In this economic climate, the emphasis turns to strategies
that companies can adopt to most effectively leverage what is already in place. 
The advantage goes to solutions that integrate with and utilize existing
technology.  For example, some document capture and routing solutions can expand
a company’s existing enterprise fax infrastructure or content management system
to integrate both paper and electronic documents from virtually any source,
resulting in less-manual, more-efficient workflows.

Trimming Enterprise-Wide Mandates

Until more recently, many IT and document-related or record-handling
policies were deployed on a corporate level.  Today, as companies renew their
emphasis on reducing costs while increasing productivity, they’re encouraging
the development of new initiatives that can be implemented at the department
level to deliver workflow-specific solutions. This lowers the risk profile of a
new implementation and permits the larger organization to adopt a virtually
self-funding, pay-as-you go approach to cautiously expanding a technology

Alignment of Paper & E-Documents & Records

After years of maintaining separate document processes, infrastructure, and
record retention policies, companies are aligning paper and electronic document
workflows to provide consistency, increase productivity, and reduce manual
processes. As these processes align and synchronize, corporate documents are now
archived and searchable, making them highly accessible and available for
enterprise search and e-discovery.  They are also better protected in the event
that disaster-recovery / business-continuity measures must be invoked.

Karen Cummings, Exec. VP, Sales & Marketing, drives growth of Omtool’s
enterprise-class products into new & expanding markets to deliver comprehensive
document routing solutions to the growing market.

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