Organisations of all sizes have prioritised IT initiatives around digital transformation (DX) strategies. Recent events fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic have only intensified these efforts, as businesses search for ways to enable a more efficient and productive distributed workforce. A recent study completed by IDC Research and sponsored by Lexmark shows that cloud migration is the top priority when it comes to driving digital transformation. The future of business is digital-first, which means businesses must modernise IT infrastructure to take advantage of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics.
Nevertheless, businesses face many obstacles when it comes to digital transformation, much of which can be summed up in a single question: how do we ensure support for legacy business systems and processes while migrating to new IT infrastructure? It is a complex problem and a difficult question to answer. Dealing with the challenges presented by lingering IT infrastructure is why so many DX programmes have either stalled, yielded limited results, or simply failed to get out of the gate.
What most businesses fail to recognise is how much existing IT infrastructure is tied up in the print environment. Many enterprise organisations have amassed a sprawling print infrastructure comprised of multiple brands and an ageing mix of printers, MFPs, scanners, and print servers. This hodgepodge of devices from multiple manufactures is likely not well suited for organisations' current needs, and certainly lacks the flexibility and scalability needed to match the needs of the future digital office. According to the study, most organisations say that lingering print infrastructure is negatively impacting their cloud migration strategy and the ability to support digital workflows.
Moving Print Infrastructure to the Cloud
It is important to understand the crucial role print can play in helping to enable and drive digital transformation. Print remains an integral and important business function, and paper is entrenched in most businesses processes today. According to the IDC study, half of all back-office workflow processes still have significant printing requirements. At the same time, digitising content and migrating from paper to digital is foundational for any digital transformation strategy. The ability to leverage advanced printing technologies combined with process analytics enabled through cloud-based print management can help organisations meet specific DX goals around content security and information management.
Enterprise organisations face significant challenges as they look to modernise IT infrastructure and establish a digital-first operational model. Moving IT infrastructure to the cloud is not always easy, which is why most tend to transition in phases. IDC's study looks closely at the issues currently hindering DX progress to highlight the opportunities, process, and benefits of moving print infrastructure to the cloud. For many organisations, modernising the print infrastructure could be the first step towards realising a truly integrated cloud-based IT model.
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