Chances are, when you think about printing you think of large outdated devices that are ill-equipped to handle the cloud or other emerging innovations. However, printers (output technology) have come a long way from their days as back office machines and have evolved to incorporate software and solutions that embrace this new way of working, helping employees to be more productive and saving departments money in the process.
Currently, the government is introducing a paper reduction movement that promotes a 20 percent decrease in paper usage. Printers are the first line of defense to confront this problem.
Today’s technology enables many vendors to include a “print release” feature in their output devices, allowing users to print only what they actually need. Organizations can assign each user a badge card or user ID that allows them to go to a printer and “release” the job into the cloud before it is printed. With this method, if an employee prints out a document only to realize seconds later that there was a typo in the first paragraph, the individual can delete the job and resend the document to the device.
In addition, IT mangers can also analyze printing habits and address excessive printing behaviors. This holds employees accountable for what they print, reduces costs and contributes to departmental sustainability initiatives.
Government documents are a hotbed of confidential information. As such, security is a paramount concern.
Print release technologies can allow only people with levels of security clearance to print a document and, second, ensure that only the person who originated the job is authorized to retrieve the document once it is printed. This guarantees that nothing is left unclaimed at public devices and that unauthorized parties can’t sift through confidential documents in search of something they may have printed.
Another way that “output devices” keep confidential information secure is by incorporating an optical character recognition (OCR) system to monitor all printed, copied, scanned or faxed documents. OCR allows IT administrators to set up alerts automatically notifying them when certain key words or phrases pass through a device, ensuring that sensitive documents stay in the right hands. A security stamp or RFID tag can also be embedded into paper, tracking the movement of a document, preventing unauthorized removal and inhibiting unauthorized copying.
Forms can be a nuisance. Every year, they must be updated and reprinted, and then their content must be reentered into your records management system. This creates additional work for employees and increases the margin of error for processing critical documents.
However, today’s printing solutions can address this issue. Many vendors offer technologies that can extract data from a document, process it and route the information into the correct repository for easy retrieval. It is even possible to capture documents electronically and scan them directly to a document management system without requiring third-party software. This same technology also allows these documents to be automatically funneled into electronic Records Management (eRM) systems, making it easier and less time-intensive for agencies to comply with government regulations.
Paper files can be hard to organize, are easily misplaced and offer limited access when it comes to information sharing. Digitizing entire files, whether old or new, permits better document management processing and retrieval.
Printing on the go
Mobile computing has revolutionized the way in which people work, making it possible to start a project on a desktop, make edits on a tablet, review on a mobile phone and then print the final version from a laptop. The popularity of working “on the go” has professionals requesting the option to “print on the go.” Luckily, we have remained ahead of this trend.
With the advent of cloud computing, mobile enterprise printing is not only achievable, but also incredibly easy. Print release solutions allow users to send their print jobs from a tablet or smartphone through a web portal, regardless of where they are located in proximity to their office. The user can then use their badge or user ID to pick up the document from any on-premise device.
Remote filing and document management is also possible as a result of today’s technology. Instead of scanning a tax form or vehicle registration, for example, users can take a photo of the document and send in directly into a document management system, which helps streamline the paper process.