Why Are Printers Still Important in the Paperless Age?

By ASE Direct Team
on May 16, 2018

Why are printers still important in the the paperless age | ASE Direct near Nashville, TN

Many organizations don't want to invest in print technology or consumables like ink and toner because they are going paperless. The digital transformation is well underway, and many offices have already vastly improved daily efficiency and productivity.

But that doesn't mean that print is obsolete. In fact, paper isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Over-reliance on purely digital workflows can leave your organization exposed to distractions, inefficiencies, and security vulnerabilities that can easily be sidestepped using your office printer.

Paper isn't for everything, of course.

Surveys, invoices, and application forms are all documents that perform far better in a digital format than a paper one. Importantly, these are documents made to be read or processed just once, then archived.

But what about the rest of your business workflow? Is a 100 percent paperless workflow possible or even desirable in today's business landscape?

The Office Will Always Require a Multi-function Copier

Paper has been around for a long time. Invented in Han dynasty China, the basic formula for papermaking has remained largely the same for nearly two thousand years.

Paper would go on to carry the written word further than anyone at that time could imagine and became the vehicle for almost all of mankind's greatest achievements since then.

Paper has met and triumphed over every other advance in communication technology since its inception. When phone lines came around, people developed fax machines. Even the receipt you receive after wirelessly paying for your groceries is, ironically, printed on paper. New technology doesn't make paper obsolete, it just changes the way people use paper.

In the modern office, paper now plays a more subdued role than it used to. This leads efficiency-oriented executives to downplay its effectiveness, losing out on critical workflow advantages in the process.

In particular, today's mobile workforce has the tools and technology to use paper printing in ways that can boost productivity beyond what a purely paperless workflow could conceivably achieve. Remote workers are more common than ever, and network-enabled printing maximizes their capabilities.

Mobile Devices and On-the-Go Printing Services

Today's business landscape is increasingly mobile-oriented. Offices have become de facto bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments, and administrators continue to do their best to implement secure policies for ensuring timely and efficient workflows to match.

But with the overwhelming amount of information that each individual employee processes on a daily basis, how do you create a distraction-free environment for getting top-priority work done? How do you ensure that an individual's attention is completely focused on the task at hand?

Considering that the average office employee already loses an hour a day on non-work-related social media and digital correspondence, printing out high-impact communications helps to earn your readers' undivided attention.

Paper documents demand attention. They load instantly, require no electricity, feature no pop-up alerts, and stay in one place until you move them. In today's digital office environment, printing a document tells its recipient that it's important. Executives, supervisors, salespeople, and marketers all need to be able to demonstrate that fact.

Pull printing allows users to securely print to and from any device on a print network. This means that a mobile user can be anywhere – even outside the office or on the other side of the planet, and instantly print a document out at the nearest or most convenient printer.

This allows traveling employees to operate with a degree of efficiency and security they cannot achieve through email. Today's offices are not paperless – they are paper-selective.

Employees and administrators avoid printing low-impact documents that are easily communicated via email, but top-priority documents demand physical copies.

Secure Printing Mitigates Mobile Data Risks

Printing a document makes the implicit statement that the data in that document is important. In most cases, that data is also sensitive. When your organization deals with sensitive data, you need to know where that data is and how it's being archived.

One in five organizations trace data security breaches to employee-owned mobile devices, and one-fourth of those organizations found employee-owned mobile devices connected to malicious Wi-Fi networks. You have a clear incentive to get sensitive documents off employee devices and into secure hands as quickly as possible.

The easiest and most intuitive way to do this is through secure network printing. By utilizing a network printer capable of authenticating users before printing, you can ensure that sensitive documents exist only on paper and that bad actors have no physical access to them.

Are you ready to implement a high-impact secure printing solution for your office? Talk to one of our specialists today.

Author: ASE Direct Team