Procuring technology for your organisation? The factors that count.

 

The procurement of technology for any enterprise is no minor matter, especially when you consider that cyber breaches cost UK organisations an incredible £34 billion last year.

The ever-growing number of security incidents adds to pressures to reduce paper and support an increasingly mobile, Millennial workforce, making just three reasons why organisations are looking to a future with less documentation, better data security and greater innovation.

For the procurement professional, there is a clear need to understand why being ‘fit for purpose’ could mean much more than cost-efficiency and ability to do the job when it comes to sourcing the right set of machines, devices and ancillary equipment.

Security

Aside from the revelation that cyber breaches are on the increase and UK companies are paying a hefty price, the UK also saw the biggest increase in credit card fraud of all European countries in 2015. Data breaches and fraudulent online transactions led to an 18% increase and £88 million worth of credit card losses in those 12 months.

Even the largest organisations are more vulnerable than they may realise, with alarm bells ringing at the end of 2015 when a security specialist confirmed that the names, birth dates and pictures of millions of children had been hacked from a well known toy manufacturer.

While taking a holistic approach and having an end-to-end plan for data security across an organisation is vital, IT security will be supported at product level by the use of encrypted storage devices with hack-resistant passwords. Devices certified to FIPS, tested by a government approved laboratory and offering military level security, are an option that every organisation should explore.

Cross cut shredders, including ones for desk side use by those handling confidential data, and CCTV cameras installed in financial and other business sensitive areas are important considerations.

Multiple locations

Working at home, from a cafe or in the office is now the norm for millions of UK workers. The Office for National Statistics reports that the number of people working remotely is at its highest level since records began in 1998, with 13.7% of employees tapping away at keyboards and making calls in places other than their employer’s building.

Procuring for teams that work from places other than the office and ensuring they’re equipped for optimum productivity can require a different set of specifications. Beyond the fact that many employees expect to use high quality, feature rich products that fit in their home as well as work environment, security issues need to be addressed. The use of privacy filters for screens, encrypted storage devices and wireless technology that enables people to securely upload work to the cloud rather than print any sensitive information will help.

The paperless office

 Although the paperless office is far from becoming a reality in most organisations, the pressure is there to do so. The UK government has set a target for healthcare organisations to become paperless by 2020, which has been more recently revised to being paperless at the point of care, following many healthcare leaders concerns about meeting the target in the timescales.

Digitisation, which means scanning and storing essential documents to the cloud or a server, has led to an increase in scanner sales. Smaller scanners with compact footprints that can be located next to users who scan frequently are proving popular, particularly the models that enable users to load a batch of papers and duplex scan them.

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