Recent research conducted by Fuji Xerox Singapore shows that whilst businesses are interested in cloud computing and mobility to make information available for their workers, and to enhance their document management requirements, many are still concerned about security when sharing information via the cloud.
Of the 150 respondents that were surveyed, it was found that only 11 percent are considering a full-scale implementation of cloud computing. Rather, the respondents view cloud computing as enhancing elements of information distribution, and reducing physical storage space for data. Respondents surveyed came from business organisations with at least 100 employees and from different vertical industries.
Respondents did favour mobile computing as a way to increase productivity and reduce physical document handling. This has been accelerated through the deployment and use of mobile devices such as tablets. Often, however, respondent organisations are enabling their own mobile infrastructure with some elements of cloud computing, rather than a full cloud solution. It has been found that this deployment of mobile technology is impacting document storage and subsequent paper usage in many organisations.
The survey further found that 31 percent of participating organisations had reduced document storage space to less than five percent. This is expected to increase to almost 50 percent within the next three years. However, some industries such as health care and logistics have greater challenges around reducing document storage and paper usage as they have particularly critical document-intensive workflows.
These industries have seen document storage needs grow alongside paper, often outweighing digitisation of workflows. For these industries, the need to manage print volumes, increase print security and sustainable printing is of critical importance whilst they try to digitise their processes.
What does this mean in Australia?
It is predicted that the Australian market would experience remarkably similar challenges and concerns in relation to a flexible workforce, information access and security issues. In a recent survey conducted in by Fuji Xerox Australia, respondents cited security, reliability and a loss of control of data as the biggest concerns for organisations wanting to adopt public cloud solutions. With a reported US$672m spent on public cloud solutions in 2011, it is expected that 60 percent of organisations will invest in tablets in the coming year (IDC 2012). Locally, we may see discreet public cloud investments by organisations with a larger focus on private cloud enablement of workers.
Until concerns related to security and reliability can be addressed adequately, investment in public cloud solutions will most likely continue to be slower than private cloud investments. Potential cost savings are attractive, but the risks currently outweigh the cost savings. Those who are considering making the investment should carefully consider the security and data protection options. If documents and printing continue to play a role in businesses, organisations should consider adding a security layer to protect the document and ensure that users of devices are able to access print on the device closest to them at the most convenient time. This will become increasingly important as organisations focus on flexible or activity-based work environments.
To access the full report, please click here.
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