With offices across the region rapidly investing in digital infrastructure, a new report from Canon Middle East, world leader in imaging solutions, notes that the accelerated growth of documents and information represents an increasingly complex challenge for businesses today. The Office Insights 2016 report aims to understand how working practices are evolving in the digital era and examines the impact of document handling technology in high-growth markets in the Middle East and Africa.
The report comes at a time when government data generation and digital archiving rates are climbing across the Middle East, with both public and private sectors seeking smart solutions to improve organizational efficiency and data governance.
The latest research found that documents and information continue to be the lifeblood of any business. This is particularly true of printed documents, with 57% of those surveyed saying that they print more now than they did three years ago and 27% saying they will spend more on printing, copying and scanning devices, and software in the next three years. Well over half (59%) of the respondents also scan more documents than they did three years ago, leading to 53% of all documents now being digitised.
However, this radical shift in volume for paper, digital and virtual documents has raised several challenges for businesses in the region; particularly around the cost of handling information and keeping it secure. While 79% of respondents strongly agree that technology makes for a more secure work environment, nearly a quarter are still very concerned about losing sensitive printed documents. Despite companies saying they will spend more on printing, scanning and copying documents, 42% of respondents say they still do not manage their print costs, and nearly one in ten are unaware if they even track print costs.
“Technology is playing a vital role in shaping the future for businesses; and the continued growth of digitisation is an important trend. Digital documents and information are driving companies forwards, but also challenging them in completely new ways,” commented Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director, Canon Middle East and Canon Central and North Africa. “These trends look set to continue for the foreseeable future, and our report demonstrates that high-growth markets are the best placed to handle the changing landscape. Unencumbered by legacy IT systems, these markets can be more agile and quick to take up new technologies that can increase efficiencies and productivity.”
However, the data from the report reveals significant gaps in understanding how technology can support improved document and information handling. “Technology is playing a pivotal role in shaping the future for businesses in the high-growth markets. Digitisation is uncovering many benefits for businesses, but it does extend the ever-growing stream of information businesses must secure and process cost-effectively. The insight the report has given us means we can better address the unique pain points of the region, and raise awareness to support the market as they use the right technologies to improve office processes,” adds Verbrugghe.
In meeting the demands of the future workplace, Canon Middle East has in turn focused on delivering value to local businesses across four key areas. These include solutions that increase workforce efficiency, offer stronger cost management, feature more robust data security features, and that function to the highest international sustainability standards. Supporting employees to use such capabilities, Canon is also investing in features like improved touch-screen user interfaces, mobile & NFC printing software, and advanced personalization functions that offer one-touch decisions on even the most complex jobs.
The Office Insights 2016 Report is an independent market research report of 1,000 business decision-makers and end-users in key countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.