3 Common Factors of Successful Smart Offices
Digital transformation. The smart office. One is a process, the other is the result — the former leading inevitably to the latter.
Digital transformation envisions a workplace where technology is a help, not a hindrance, to the human workforce—improving business processes, office culture and customer experiences by transitioning to the company-wide use of digital technology. A Smart Office puts this vision into practice.
Implementing a smart office optimizes productivity, efficiency, and employee morale through automation and a networked ecosystem of devices and software, including:
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate high-volume but tedious processes—freeing people for higher level operations while increasing efficiency and output;
- Business Process Management (BPM), or the improvement and automation of business processes in line with the business’s goals i;
- Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS), or tools that manage the capture, storage and use of documents ii;
- Print & Scanning Management Systems, or the management of an office’s day-to-day print and scan tasks iii; and
- Sustainability & Facility Management Systems, or tools that optimise the use of office facilities, while collecting, verifying and visualising the workplace’s sustainability performance levels
Digital Transformation Picks Up the Pace
The increasing demand for smarter workplaces has driven companies to pursue digital transformation at accelerating rates. The smart office technology market is expected to increase by almost 13% year on year (YOY) to USD 46.11 billion by 2023 iv.
Expectations are high all around. As connected devices become more commonplace, companies face the challenge of integrating their different devices and systems, while rapidly realizing their benefits (and return on investments).
Each company requires a unique approach to implement their smart office setup, adjusted to suit their industry, their corporate goals, and how their employees work.
A reliable digital transformation agency should be able to deliver individually-tailored solutions that deliver three essential benefits: automation, security and sustainability.
Automation: “Robots” Doing the Heavy Lifting
Employees working in a smart office suffer less boredom and stress, as automation takes over the most mind-numbing tasks.
Instead of manual data entry, RPA “bots” can perform automatic data processing and reporting, potentially taking over 80 percent of rules-based processes v. “Smart scanning” can reduce administrative burdens by digitizing paper documents and preparing them for storage or sharing.
Instead of an inflexible paper-based workflow, a smart office can streamline internal processes by automating data capture and consolidation. Automation can increase accuracy in some situations from 45% to 95%, minimizing errors introduced by the human factor vi.
Automation also proactively performs preventive maintenance—like multifunction printers that can automatically intervene in 80% of printer faults detected.* No more belated reactions to breakdowns or supply shortages; automated systems can analyze and report usage patterns; predict shortages and breakdowns before they happen; and minimize downtime overall.
Smart Office Security & Compliance
Given their heavy reliance on computer networks and wireless infrastructure, smart offices can (and should) put a high premium on security.
Such cybersecurity investments may cover systems that harden data and processes against breaches; ensure compliance of platforms with security requirements; and guarantee the integrity of printers and the printing environment.
The trick lies in putting all these components together in a coherent whole. Will the office’s project management architecture work reliably with the selected cloud solution? Can robust credential management be deployed to ensure only authorised users access sensitive data? Will the network architecture meet stringent compliances like ISO 27001, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and PCIDSS?
Not even multifunction printers (MFPs) escape scrutiny. As part of a smart office’s IT infrastructure, MFPs may deploy print management software that encrypts data transmitted to the MFP; authenticates users; and embeds QR codes in printouts to facilitate the audit trail.
Sustainability: Not Just Smart, but Green Too
Digital transformation may also help companies improve their environmental sustainability while remaining in compliance with green reporting requirements.
HKEX-listed firms in Hong Kong have been required to submit environment, social and governance (ESG) reports since 2015. Cloud Platforms like Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong)’s iESG streamlines the reporting process: automating data collection and consolidation from various departments within an organisation, then visualising the data on the cloud on demand.
Even regular businesses can rely on a series of green office solutions to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities. These solutions can dovetail with day-to-day operations, from environment-friendly print management solutions that track paper use and reduce energy costs; to real-time energy monitoring systems that improve company-wide energy efficiency vii.
A Partner in Digital Transformation
Using digital transformation to achieve a smart office is not entirely absent of pitfalls, but companies can even the odds by having a solid game plan and a trustworthy solutions provider by their side.
Partnering with digital transformation agencies like Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong) can help companies safely cross the digital transformation divide. Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong) clients tap a wide range of smart office solutions and guidance from fully-certified, experienced staff to help bring their smart office dreams to reality.
* Actual performance may vary according to customer's environment and needs.
[i] “Business Process Management.” Fuji Xerox. Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. Accessed September 20, 2019. https://www.fujixerox.com.hk/en/Solutions/Office-Solutions/Business-Process-Management/Business-Process-Management.
[ii] “ParaDM | Electronic Document Management.” Fuji Xerox . Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. Accessed September 20, 2019. https://www.fujixerox.com.hk/en/Solutions/Office-Solutions/ParaDM.
[iii] “Print Management Information Systems.” Fuji Xerox. Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. Accessed September 20, 2019. https://www.fujixerox.com.hk/en/Solutions/Production-Solutions/Print-Management-Information-Systems.
[iv] “Smart Office Market by Product (Smart Lighting/Lighting Controls, Security Systems, Energy Management Systems, HVAC Control Systems, Audio–Video Conferencing Systems), Software & Service, Office Type, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2023.” Markets and Markets. MarketsandMarkets Research Private Ltd. Accessed September 20, 2019 https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/smart-connected-offices-market-254310598.html.
[v] Utermohlen, Karl. “All the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Stats You Need to Know.” Medium. Towards Data Science, April 7, 2018.
[vi] Biden, David. “Guide to Robotic Process Automation.” human. Accessed September 20, 2019. https://human-plus.co.uk/blog/guide-to-robotic-process-automation.
[vii] “Sustainability Policy and Implementation.” Fuji Xerox. Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. Accessed September 20, 2019. https://www.fujixerox.com.hk/en/Sustainability/Sustainability-Management-Services/Sustainability-Policy-and-Implementation.
Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong) Ltd
A seasoned and forward-thinking marketer specializing in digital transformation and marketing with extensive regional experience.
Tech-savvy, innovative, and witty, he is apt to planning and implementing new tactics and steering away from traditional marketing in the digital era. Helps companies and clients achieve business goals and works alongside them on their digital transformation journey. His role is to strengthen the position of Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong) as a leading ICT agency in Hong Kong, which is committed to enabling clients’ business success through game-changing technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) and RPA (robotic process automation).