Digital technologies are transforming the SMB landscape, creating opportunities for businesses of all sizes to compete on a level playing field. Increasing mobility, changing workforce expectations and customer preferences for seamless interactions, are pushing SMBs to improve efficiency, agility and productivity to stay ahead.

Heading towards a “paper-lite” workplace 

The majority of SMBs expect to remain reliant on printed documents, with 76% of SMBs saying that printed documents are important to their business. However, this reliance comes at a cost, with over half of respondents indicating that they are struggling to reduce paper usage, consumables costs and enhance security. Consequently, fewer SMBs (66%) expect to be reliant on printing by 2025, reflecting that a transition, albeit gradual, to a paper-lite workplace is underway.

Although often hampered by budget and resource constraints, SMBs are positive about the impact of digitisation. Overall, 81% of SMBs believe digitising paper-based processes will be important for driving their organisation’s digital transformation by 2025. In fact, 49% expect paper digitisation to be very important, compared to 13% today. Over 60% of SMBs believe all paper documents should be scanned and over two thirds (67%) expect greater use of document capture, workflow and collaboration tools to lead to reduced printing between now and 2025. There are some regional variations – 90% of large US SMBs see increased document capture and workflow as the biggest driver, compared to 64% of large European SMBs.

However, despite a drive towards improving employee productivity and business efficiency, today, less than 50% of SMBs are using digital workflow solutions such as document capture, mobile data capture or ECM solutions. However, there is certainly an interest to increase digital workflow adoption, with almost half expecting to expand usage of solutions in these areas.

Digital workflow solutions provided by MPS

By incorporating document workflow solutions that leverage existing investments in smart MFPs – such as document capture, document management or document collaboration, a managed print service (MPS) can provide the foundation for digital transformation. MPS offers a broad portfolio of digital workflow solutions – from simple tools for scanning and routing expense receipts directly at the MFP to more sophisticated business process automation and digital workflow services.

As SMBs look for guidance in supporting digital initiatives, MPS offer the skills and expertise to drive efficiency and productivity improvements through paper and digital workflow automation will be best positioned to succeed.

Info by Louella Fernandes – Research Director, Quocirca via Print 2025, 2018