Everyone today is talking about the importance of digitalisation, where technology sits at the core of a business, instead of only serving as a peripheral enabler.By Ronnie Oeschger, divisional director: Xerox indirect channels at  Bytes Document Solutions

Digitalisation is recognised as a way of opening up new markets, improving the customer experience and enabling new ways of doing business – just ask the people who developed the wildly successful Uber concept.

However, what many organisations have not yet realised is the value of managed print services (MPS) as a bridge to digital transformation. In capable hands, MPS can serve as a platform for innovation and a path from paper to digital.


MPS already touches most of the document-based processes that are ripe for digital transformation

Since MPS devices operate at critical junctures of many document processes, paper-heavy procedures become easier to spot and automate, shifting the focus from devices and printing to capture and content.


It can help you deal with the challenge of bimodal documents

Hybrid digital and paper environments can side-track your digital plans, but since hybrid environments remain a reality – even digitally run operations must occasionally deal with printed documents from outsiders – your MPS provider can assist in dealing with these challenges.


Easy to integrate changes and improvements into existing systems

Next-generation MPS always aims for minimal disruption, which carries over into the digital journey. A good MPS platform will leverage the environment you have, to get to the digital workplace you want, without pressuring you into more change than your enterprise can tolerate.


Finding the cure for bimodal IT

Bimodal IT creates the dilemma of needing to bring fresh innovation to the table while still being dependent on legacy systems and practices. An MPS contract, however, gives you a surprisingly good resource not just to cope with bimodal IT, but to build on it. This is because MPS provides a reliable resource for day-to day document challenges, as well as lighting a path to greater automation and digital transformation.


MPS savings help fund digital innovation

The cost of digitalisation is one of its key inhibitors. Organisations demand more innovation and services, from a shrinking IT budget which still has to deal with operating costs and legacy apps. MPS can rack up cost reductions – sometimes as high as 30% – freeing up funds for digital initiatives.


You can make progress in stages

Going digital isn’t something that can occur overnight – it inevitably involves a gradual transition. MPS fits into this concept perfectly, as it doesn’t require the overhaul of big chunks of infrastructure to add document and process innovation. An effective MPS approach will tackle problems in prescribed steps to reduce the disruption and pain of change, building up new digital capabilities from the foundation of your MPS framework.


MPS keeps the device fleet in line with actual business needs

As your digital and automation footprint expands, you are likely to print less. MPS slims down your printer fleet by continuously optimising it to ensure you are not stuck with several years of leases when you are ready to start digitising content and reducing your print output. MPS allows you to be strategic about what equipment to keep in place offers you flexibility in your contract.


MPS is no stranger to security

It is clear that digital workflow requires solutions for securing, sharing and accessing documents inside and outside your business. Since these requirements are already part of the MPS value proposition, they can provide the bridge between device-level security and the beginning of digital workflow.


Learn from industry benchmarks

Your MPS provider should be in a position to help you to see how you stack up compared to the competition. They should be able to share industry benchmarks for MPS-driven innovation and digitisation, as well as help you devise a professional plan to leverage technology and best practices to compete more effectively.


Your MPS partner can be your guide

Digital transformation is new territory, so it is important to have a guide. A good MPS provider will be able to steer you along an ever-more innovative roadmap to the digital workplace, one that is right for your company. They will offer a programme designed to take you through three stages: assess and optimise; secure and integrate; and automate and simplify. Your provider should be able to leverage MPS as a platform for innovation, helping to bridge the gap from where you are now, to where you want to be as a digitally empowered company.