by Hiro Imamura, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A.

What do you envision when you think of the Office of the Future? To Canon, it looks to be more than a room full of connected devices; it looks creative. Businesses are transforming the way in which they communicate, breaking down barriers both physically and mentally to create a shared, collaborative working environment.

Communication is integral to any business project. Yet with the added freedom and flexibility promised through AI and next-generation technologies there is also an inherent risk – risk in data breaches, privacy invasion, and unauthorized content sharing.

Data security in the digital era is pivotal. The sharing economy of the office of the future lends itself to heightened digital content sharing. As such, IT and security leaders will need to utilize network and device security to allow workers the freedom to work and collaborate from remote locations via solutions and devices with security features.

According to a study of 500 CIOs and IT decision-makers, conducted by IDC and sponsored by Canon U.S.A., 84% of business leaders surveyed say that network security is critical to digital transformation in the workplace, making it one of the first steps for organizations tackling enterprise security*. As more connected devices and virtual assistants enter the office, there will be a requirement for more sophisticated security measures in order to manage the enterprise network.

Neglecting device security within an organization, for instance, can create openings in workflow processes for employees and other agents to share confidential business information – either intentionally or by accident. With many businesses today promoting coworking office spaces, a multilayered access control strategy can also be important.

The trend toward Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and an overall general increase in work mobility lend itself to this necessary shift in security strategy. In fact, the introduction of personal mobile devices to the workplace led 77% of IT decision-makers and CIOs surveyed to consider mobile device management to be a priority for organizational information security and compliance, according to the IDC survey sponsored by Canon*. It will be important for enterprises to implement a robust security software suite across all in-office and mobile devices to help organizations manage document sharing in the cloud from employees’ personal devices or to and from remotely connected office technology. Acknowledging that the role of an enterprise security officer extends beyond traditional definitions of business technology can be fundamental to adapting your security framework for the office of the future.

It is, therefore, important for companies to also look to partner with digital solutions providers that can support remote accessibility and expansion of an organization’s traditional document sharing network while keeping content security in mind. 84% of decision-makers surveyed said that they believe that content security in the cloud is a top security concern for 2018*. User authentication schemas and encryption processes can help organizations provide a layer of protection surrounding the private data it shares across different regions and devices within its network.

Canon, for instance, offers integrations with Box and mxHero solutions to help support remote accessibility and expand enterprises’ traditional document sharing networks. Large amounts of unstructured data within a company usually congregate in filing cabinets, employee desktops, and the email inboxes. As such, solutions that can offer data storage in the cloud, like the content management platform Box™, paired with an intelligent cloud service that can extend cloud data storage capabilities to email archival and management, as can be made possible through mxHero™ solutions, can help employees share confidential company information while using security features.**

What does Canon envision when it thinks of the Office of the Future? It envisions a collaborative, open workspace the same as most organizations would, but one that is protected. As businesses continue to evolve and embrace the Office of the Future, they too must evolve their security protocols. Data security in the digital era cannot be neglected. It is a necessity.

*IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Canon, Digital Transformation & Emerging Technologies: The Canon Office of the Future Survey, Conducted by IDC, December 2017.

**Canon U.S.A., Inc., through its subsidiary Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. (CIIS), has a strategic partnership with Box and mxHero.

Canon products offer certain security features, yet many variables can impact the security of devices and data. Canon does not warrant that the use of its features will prevent security issues. Nothing herein should be construed as legal or regulatory advice concerning applicable laws; customers must have their own qualified counsel determine the feasibility of a solution as it relates to regulatory and statutory compliance.

About the Author

Hiroyuki “Hiro” Imamura is senior vice president and general manager of marketing for the Business Imaging and Solutions Group of Canon U.S.A., Inc. He oversees all marketing activities for the Enterprise Solutions and Desktop Solutions, Production Solutions, Strategic Planning, Integrated Marketing and Marketing Shared Services, and Aftermarket Products divisions.
Mr. Imamura began his career in 1985 with Canon Inc. in Tokyo, before joining Canon U.S.A. 1992 as an assistant manager of administration in the Graphic Systems Division. He briefly returned to Canon Inc. in 1997, and then rejoined Canon U.S.A. in 2000, where he has remained for 15 years in a variety of management positions within the Business Imaging and Solutions Group. In 2017, Mr. Imamura assumed his current position. Mr. Imamura graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo in 1985.