Helmi Abudheir, software solutions business manager of Xerox Middle East operations and emerging European market attended the 7th eGovernment Forum that took place between 12-14 November in Kuwait and spoke about ‘The roadmap to an Efficient Workplace and Secured Environment’. Here are some excerpts:

How is the efficient workplace part of the digital transformation journey?

Digital transformation encapsulates the essence of moving from a ‘physical’ or ‘analogue’ world to a ‘touchless’ or ‘digital’ one across the print industry. The concept of ‘information digitization’ plays an ever-growing role towards utilizing ‘less paper’ and providing a communications platform. This harnesses the full power of new digital technologies which is multi-channel and not simply print on paper. It is about re-imagining and re-engineering the way print organizations operate and, in the way that they communicate and transact business with their customers. In fact, digital transformation plays an instrumental role in developing an efficient workplace as it creates opportunities for organisations to manage their documents in a digital format while reducing the number of pages they print.

It also allows companies to analyse their printing habits and automate processes that are inefficient and time consuming. The office needs so much more than a printer to cope with the increasing workplace demands.  It needs a workplace assistant, a printer that offers more than print. Revolutionizing workflows, boosting innovation and bolstering security by digitizing paper documents.

Digital disruption is remaking the government and modern enterprise. Radical rethinking of technology and processes is fueling unprecedented innovation and growth for organizations bold enough to break with the past.

How document management solutions can minimize costs and optimize operations?

Document management solutions such as Managed Print Services (MPS) can dramatically reduce costs spent on printing. A lot of organizations big or small don’t realize how much money is being wasted on purposeless printouts, maintenance of inactive printers and downtime caused by poor servicing practices. MPS can help reduce organizations’ cost by up to 35%.

One of the great examples would be financial sector that is very robust in the Middle East region which creates a highly competitive environment. We have been working with one global financial services organization and after a careful assessment of their printing infrastructures across multiple branches, we identified at least 35,000 inactive printers!

Can you imagine if an organization didn’t know about the existence of 35,000 machines across their multiple offices how many of these devices had default security features?
While saving at least 35% in print associated costs this organization eliminated cybersecurity vulnerability by eliminating unprotected network access points. If hackers would manage to penetrate their network and access financial data that their business is built on it would cause an enormous damage to their overall business.

What are the steps that governments need to take to achieve successful and seamless transition into digital transformation?

There are many steps that governments can take to achieve successful transformation and they largely depend on the technology, human factor and policies.Governments have
hundreds, maybe thousands, of processes and priorities but they only have finite resources. So, it’s hard to address digital transformation all at once. You have to prioritize. In its narrowest sense, ‘digital transformation’ means ‘going paperless’.

More broadly, it means  re-imagining and re-engineering the way you operate. In between, there’s a spectrum of other meanings for digital transformation. None is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’, because ‘transformation’ is so relative.

So much depends on where you’re starting from. There are three main steps that governments can take to achieve successful and seamless transition into a paperless environment –
1. Assess and optimize: Start by auditing, tracking, measuring, analyzing your use of paper. ‘Optimize’ might mean digitizing; or it might mean first re-engineering paper-based processes. But it should follow assessment – and be based on its insights – to assure results.
2. Secure and integrate: Never forget the bigger picture. Cost, security and agility are the key drivers of digitization. You won’t get the results you want if you don’t build in security and make absolutely sure that technology, process and people can play together happily.
3. Automate and simplify: Before automating any processes and making them simpler, more digital and paperless, it is important to take steps 1 and 2 first.  Assess before you automate, and better results will follow.

How does security play an integral role in digital transformation?

We anticipate continued increase in connected devices to emerge to support IoT trend. In addition to laptops, phones and tablets there are also many other smart workplace devices that are now connected to the internet. Some industry predictions say that the number of connected devices will exceed 50 billion by 2020.

The growth of IoT security is becoming an equally important factor. In order to stay cyber threats free organizations should be very careful when choosing office equipment and always pay a lot of attention to the type of embedded security solutions their preferred brand offers. At Xerox, product security issues are front and center.

As a leader in the  development of digital technology, Xerox has demonstrated a commitment to keeping digital information safe and secure by identifying potential vulnerabilities and proactively addressing them to limit risk.