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Document imaging and the cloud

July 16, 2018

Document imaging and the cloud

8 benefits of cloud-based scanning and print-from-anywhere capabilities

Working in the cloud is definitely the new normal, but that doesn’t mean every business has jumped on board—or knows how to optimize cloud technology to the fullest. Your customers may not realize that cloud-based alternatives are available for nearly all of their business functions, including printing and scanning.

A few concrete benefits would be enough to convince most businesses to move to the cloud. But when you can point to a lengthy list, the decision becomes a no-brainer.

If your customers could use a nudge in the right direction, remind them of these time- and money-saving perks. 

6 benefits of scan-to-cloud technology

Mobility: By 2020, experts believe that 75% of the workforce will be mobile. Cloud scanning capabilities enable mobile workers to upload and access files from wherever they are working—and share with colleagues, too.

Improved document security: Paper documents are always at risk of being damaged, stolen or destroyed. Electronic documents can be stored more safely with various levels of security built in. With scan-to-cloud document management, paper files are quickly converted to electronic format and stored securely in an online filing system. This system offers password protection, automatically encrypts the documents and can include segmented access for different types of users. Some systems can even protect against ransomware. If you get taken hostage, you can wipe your data from the cloud—eliminating the threat.

Workflow efficiency for day-to-day operations: With modern scanners, people can easily scan documents—like receipts, business cards and work documents—directly from their smartphones and automatically upload them to the cloud. From there, they can file, sort, organize and transfer them between cloud-based storage repositories and share them with colleagues.

Business collaboration: Cloud-based scanning increases flexibility, convenience and efficiency for people throughout the organization. Once scanned, digital documents can be easily shared with any authorized users through cloud-based productivity tools like Google Drive (and Google Docs), OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Expensify, LedgerDocs, Shoebox and more, which increases real-time collaboration.

Built-in software integrations: Many cloud-based scanners and MFPs have built in software integrations that make connecting to cloud-based tools like QuickBooks, TALK Accounting and Hubdoc a breeze. Associates don’t have to plug into a PC. They can scan from a mobile device or an MFP and simply select where to send the document.

Business continuity: By scanning documents to the cloud, businesses can also protect against interruption and potential data loss caused by burglary, flood or fire. Scanned documents can be backed up to a remote server on a regular basis, which is a huge benefit if there’s ever a major disaster. Downtime is also minimized as employees all have access to business data from any device with an internet connection.

2 benefits of print-from-anywhere capabilities

On the flip side, using the power of the cloud to print anything from anywhere is another valuable business tool. In fact, it’s often a necessity if using a smartphone, tablet or laptop is part of your normal workday.

Business productivity: Say you receive a huge spreadsheet attachment on your smartphone and need to view the document without squinting. Or you need to print a PowerPoint doc before your next meeting. With the right application, you can send a file from your smartphone or laptop to the cloud so it can be printed on a nearby printer.

Security: Security is a big issue with mobile printing. You want to protect remotely printed jobs from being seen by prying eyes, and also protect your web-connected printer from being accessed by unauthorized users—or even hackers. Today’s print-from-anywhere applications create a secure point-to-point transmission, which protects sensitive information. And you don’t have to worry about the document being stored on the printer’s hard drive—since it’s printing from the cloud.

The solution is two-fold—having the right hardware available in public locations and having the secure application to print from your mobile device. For example, HP’s ePrint app (for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices) lets you print to machines in thousands of locations worldwide in airports, hotels, lounges, business centers, libraries and print/copy stores.

Need help getting your customers started? Ingram Micro has the industry’s broadest line card for cloud scanning and print-from-anywhere solutions. Many printers and scanners offer scan-to-the-cloud, print-from-anywhere capabilities and even workflow automation. Contact Ingram Micro’s Business and Consumer Solutions team today.