Strategic Infrastructure - Overview
Business executives need to think strategically about information management and infrastructure; to be competitive, enterprises require the delivery of business critical information in the right form at the right time.
In today’s global economy, the livelihood of the organization is linked to how well the IT function manages the availability, integrity, and confidence of the information and IT systems used to operate core business procedures. Whether it is protecting information or meeting legal and regulatory requirements, the challenge confronting IT managers in an increasingly interconnected world means managing business opportunity and risk simultaneously.1
An infrastructure that effectively supports competitiveness and corporate growth is even more critical today given the increasing volume, variety, and value of information flowing through the enterprise. Paper documents remain a significant source of business critical information for knowledge workers, second only to email, and ahead of digital forms and documents.2
A strategic approach to business information infrastructure empowers you to hit financial targets, cultivate innovation and provide superior customer service — all essential to maintaining a competitive edge and growing a business.
A strategic approach to infrastructure must accommodate workforce trends: mobility, social media, the “consumerization” of IT and employees. Millennials3 — people born in the digital age — have different expectations surrounding access to business information. They expect business information to be available 24/7, on the device of their choosing, and to work more collaboratively and openly, e.g., leveraging social media.
Businesses are turning to virtualization technology and cloud-based storage (public and private) for infrastructure flexibility and scalability (and cost savings). The immediacy and accessibility of information can be addressed with virtual desktops and SaaS, on-demand applications. Standardizing enterprise document and records management applications and databases reduces storage redundancy and ‘silos’ of business information, and helps employees access information where and when they need it. Learn more about the state of information access…4
CIOs are taking a leading role in evolving static infrastructure to more scalable, flexible solutions better suited for a highly mobile and collaborative workforce. CIOs are well-positioned to do so:
- Seventy percent of CIOs have a seat on the business executive management committee5
- Aligning IT and business goals (76 percent) are the most frequently cited management priorities for CIOs in the coming year6
- Forward-looking CIOs are beginning to think of themselves as providers of services rather than infrastructure7
CIOs need to address increasing complexity and management challenges with constrained IT resources. In response, many businesses are leveraging a broad array of managed services. One example is the use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to add flexibility and scalability on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
Equally important is the growing use of managed services for specific business processes, like accounts payable processes or mail room management. Services like Managed Document Services, including Managed Print Services, make the business critical document infrastructure flexible, scalable, and more efficient in handling critical information.
Ricoh MDS addresses the entire document-based information infrastructure — input (the creation of information), throughput (how information moves around a business), and output (processing information in a way to add business value).
Ricoh works with customers to create an optimized information infrastructure that accommodates changing workforce requirements and adapts to their business model — empowering their employees to contribute like never before. We enable an effective transformation of the document-based information infrastructure that spans the globally-connected enterprise — a critical consideration given information infrastructures must function as a whole.
With tools, services for and experience with fleet management (coordination of all installations, moves, additions, changes or disposal tasks for devices) as well as document security, businesses can improve control over the flow of document-based information throughout the enterprise.
Providers can help organizations identify underutilized or overworked devices, remove unnecessary systems, and make more cost-effective management decisions including restricting some device usage and redirecting jobs to more appropriate and inexpensive output devices to reduce output volume.8
Companies who have deployed MDS/MPS solutions report “7% to 14% savings from fewer help desk calls, improved paper document storage, and reduced environmental impact”.9 In fact Ricoh MDS can improve the end-user experience with integrated help desk support.
Ricoh MDS/MPS not only reduces the burden and cost of support on IT, but you can better protect your business critical data and customer privacy with a secure network and end-to-end document output environment. You can effectively extend your information infrastructure and business processes by leveraging our investment in leading edge hardware, software — and in the expertise required to manage them.
1 “2008 Annual Report IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance, Improving business results and mitigating financial risk” IT Policy Compliance Group, May, 2008.
2 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling today’s - and Tomorrow’s - Information Costs, January 2011.
3 Millennials will comprise a majority of the workforce by 2015. Source Pew Research.
4 AIIM Industry Watch, "State of the ECM Industry 2011 - How well is it meeting business needs" 2011
5 CIO Magazine. “2010 state of the CIO survey.” CIO Magazine, January 2011
6 CIO Magazine. “2010 state of the CIO survey.” CIO Magazine, January 2011
7 Bulkeley, Bill. “What CFOs need to hear about cloud computing and consumer IT.” CIO.com, June 14, 2011.
8 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling today’s - and Tomorrow’s - Information Costs, January 2011.
9 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling today’s - and Tomorrow’s - Information Costs, January 2011.
Strategic Infrastructure - Business Outcomes
A Changing Workforce
Your information infrastructure needs to accommodate a changing workforce with more remote and mobile access to business critical information.
Meeting the business information needs of a more mobile, geographically dispersed workforce requires an infrastructure that supports 24/7 access from different platforms, available across all enterprise locations, and provides the right information in the right form.
Ricoh MDS Document Process Optimization service focuses on the end-to-end processes related to specific types of documents critical to your distributed and mobile workforce. For example, members of your Sales force can respond more rapidly to customers with optimized access to information from invoices, account information and general customer communications. Field service organizations can better service customers with more timely technical service bulletins, supplier technical documents, product design specifications, and repair manuals.
Building a Flexible Infrastructure
Your existing information Infrastructure makes it harder to identify and extract real value from the increasing volume of both hardcopy and digital business information.
Your infrastructure must be flexible enough to support hardcopy information where it is most effective, as well as conversion to electronic formats to better mine the value of the information contained in documents.
The first step is a thorough understanding of current business critical document processes — both hardcopy and digital. Ricoh MDS Process Analysis begins by looking at hardcopy and digital business information processes, understanding the requirements for information access and usage. Ricoh MDS maps end-to-end processes (manual and automated, structured and unstructured data), and this map is used as input to a solution design.
Ricoh MDS Process Solution Design provides quantifiable recommendations to best align your information infrastructure with your objectives to access and use valuable business information. For situations where information must or is best shared in hardcopy, Ricoh can design solutions for an improved information infrastructure with better output efficiencies, and allow you to scale over time while driving waste and cost out of hardcopy operations.
In cases where objectives are better met by extracting information from hardcopy, Ricoh MDS Process Solution Design recommendations may include conversion and data extraction improvements like classification and indexing, integration with document management technologies like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, and use of a central information repository (e.g., in the cloud).
By providing accurate and timely information infrastructure data, Ricoh MDS Management Information Reporting will give you the ability to make sound, defensible business decisions. These reports can be departmental or global, and aligned with local operating company metrics. Management Information Reporting not only gives you better visibility into all the components of your MDS program, you’ll have proactive data analysis that can be used to drive Ricoh’s MDS Optimization Consultancy service.
Focusing IT Resources
Your IT resources/staff will be constrained for the foreseeable future, and you want to align their efforts better with business goals — not wrestling with an inefficient information infrastructure.
Integrate the experience and resources of managed service providers to free up your IT resources, extend your information infrastructure, and improve end-user satisfaction.
Ricoh MDS Service Desk Integration service provides a single point of contact (SPOC) for communication flow to ensure appropriate support for all Ricoh-supported and managed devices, by integrating Ricoh services and processes with the customer’s help desk. Integration may be accomplished by onsite staff, remote offsite staff, and/or automated technology.
Ricoh’s IMAC-D (Install-Move-Add-Change-Disposal) service performs proactive and customer-requested activities to improve high technology device availability through comprehensive maintenance and portfolio management: installations, moves, additions, changes, or disposal tasks for devices.
Ricoh MDS Maintenance and Support service provides physical upkeep of devices and assets and gives you a choice of having services performed onsite or remotely. The scope of these services can include break-fix services, software technology solutions, and remote diagnostics, intervention, and support.
By providing accurate, timely, and more complete data, Ricoh MDS Management Information Reporting will give you the ability to make sound, defensible business decisions. These reports can be departmental or global, and aligned with local operating company metrics. Management Information Reporting not only gives you full visibility into all the elements of your MDS program, you’ll have proactive data analysis that can also drive Ricoh MDS Optimization Consultancy service.
Ricoh MDS Optimization Consultancy can assess the effectiveness of improvements to your information infrastructure against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) typically identified in the Process Analysis or Process Solution Design stages.
Handling Security Issues
Security has become more of a challenge with the distribution of business critical information across an expanding infrastructure. Expanding regulations and more severe repercussions of non-compliance put you in the hot seat.
Your information infrastructure must be built on defensible security practices and policies that demonstrate compliance with privacy regulations and protect business continuity.
Ricoh MDS Security Management service identifies and develops controls to mitigate risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your business critical information throughout the document lifecycle — including setting sensitive information to expire automatically and ensuring outdated information is made unavailable.
These controls help ensure that security technology is deployed that fully corresponds to the enterprise’s Information Security Objectives and Policy. The controls protect confidential business critical information that needs to be shared with the appropriate employees, customers, and partners, providing consistent protection for sensitive documents even after they have been saved to a user’s desktop from a repository (i.e., network share, e-mail, electronic content management system [ECM]).
Your current information infrastructure has silos of information associated with different departments; these redundant infrastructures take up valuable resources.
Information infrastructure needs to eliminate unnecessary redundancies and provide access across ‘silos’ to get users the information they need at the right time.
Ricoh MDS Process Analysis begins by looking across your information infrastructure and how it is used: the people and culture of information usage, the processes themselves, and technologies. The goal is to identify barriers to effective access to business critical information, to fully align with your information access objectives.
From this analysis, Ricoh MDS Process Solution Design recommends improvements to the information infrastructure that improves access and reduces redundancies.
Ricoh MDS Document Process Optimization service implements the improved infrastructure. Ricoh MDS provides initial optimization of the infrastructure by reducing the instances of redundant information and number of steps/tasks required to effectively access information leveraging existing technology. Additional phases may include augmenting the infrastructure with new information integration technologies, and if most cost-effective, outsourcing components of the infrastructure e.g., Service Desk Integration.
Strategic Infrastructure - Best Practices
Taking a strategic approach to information infrastructure means anticipating and aligning an organization’s infrastructure with its business objectives for growth: scalability, flexibility, and better, secure information access.
Ricoh is a global leader in Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Document Services (MDS). The knowledge and best practices we accumulate in thousands of engagements worldwide become powerful assets in our Ricoh MDS portfolio. Application of this knowledge and these best practices is the engine that drives our continuous improvement efforts. Ricoh MDS can help enterprises increase productivity by delivering the right information, at the right time, in the right form.
Below are some best practices derived from Ricoh MDS customer deployments that help you achieve the benefits of taking a strategic approach to information infrastructure:
- Benchmark Performance of Current Information Infrastructure
- Test Recommendations for Improved Information Infrastructure
- Focus on Most Paper Intensive Processes First
- Fleet Infrastructure Right-Sizing & Optimization
- Take a Phased Approach to Re-engineering Infrastructure
- Ensure Information Infrastructure Security
Click below for detailed explanations of these best practices
Benchmark Performance of Current Information Infrastructure
To successfully optimize your information infrastructure you first need to establish baseline performance. Define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relative to information access and usability for business critical information. These may include document input/throughput/output and all related processes, volumes, business objectives, etc. — but they should map directly to how well people currently have the access to information that they need, when and where they need it. Review current performance in these KPIs and review satisfaction levels (satisfaction survey, business perceptions, responsiveness, access, etc).
Test Recommendations for Improved Information Infrastructure
Proof-of-concept implementations should be used to evaluate the impact of recommendations for improved infrastructure on information access and usability. Another test of the soundness of a proposed change is a complete cost benefit analysis and return on investment (ROI) calculation.
Focus on Most Paper Intensive Processes First
The first step in optimizing an information infrastructure is making information within paper-intensive document processes more accessible. These processes should map directly to how quickly and easily people have access to what they need when they need it. Review current performance of infrastructure and information access satisfaction levels (satisfaction survey, business perceptions, responsiveness, etc.).
Fleet Infrastructure Right-Sizing & Optimization
Assess the infrastructure for device usage patterns and placement — minimize redundant or under-utilized copiers/faxes/printers/scanners. Deploy more advanced device technologies like scan-to-email, scan-to-folder, etc. wherever possible. Align demand volume per workgroup and device productivity, and device configuration and limit deployment of single-function devices.
Take a Phased Approach to Re-engineering Infrastructure
When reengineering information infrastructure, break the implementation into phases: initial re-engineering should optimize the current infrastructure, e.g., reduce the instances of redundant information, augment the existing infrastructure with new information integration technologies, and if most cost-effective, outsource components of the information infrastructure.
Ensure Information Infrastructure Security
Taking a strategic approach to information infrastructure should include (at a minimum) configuring security per device- and document-related policies:
- User authentication
- Device-centric security
- Access control and role-based identification
- Enterprise Digital Rights Management (DRM)-enabled repositories
- Document-level audit trail
- Regular audits as required to ensure current status of agreed security measures
- Security and destruction of information for all removed devices
- Document compliance support for applicable regulatory legislation and data protection guidelines
Strategic Infrastructure - How We Solve This
The Ricoh MDS Services Delivery Portfolio offers all the services required to design, construct, maintain, and optimize a highly efficient information infrastructure that is aligned with your strategic business goals. Examples of Ricoh MDS service offerings are:
- Process Analysis
- Process Solution Design
- Document Process Optimization
- Management Information Reporting
- Security Management
- Service Desk Integration
- Optimization Consulting
- Maintenance & Support
The Process Analysis and Process Solution Design service offerings support the planning and design of more efficient business processes, including establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ROI analysis. Document Process Optimization helps you implement improved access to business critical information where and when you need it. Our Management Information Reporting and Optimization Consulting provide true end-to-end performance metrics against Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or KPIs — the fundamental measures of continuous process improvement.
While every Ricoh Managed Document Services Engagement is unique and tailored to your environment, you can see examples of Ricoh MDS services that address the need for Strategic Infrastructure.