With global economic uncertainties constantly in the headlines, businesses are looking for ways to become more efficient and agile as they struggle to maintain and strengthen market position. Think your competition is not feeling the same pressure? Think again. Every C-level executive is under pressure to “pull a rabbit from the hat” and do more with less… and faster.

How is this possible? Is this some sort of new math that your kids know, but you were never taught? I wish it were so. Unfortunately, it is just free market forces at work, originating at the customer and working their way back through all levels of the business. Nobody gets a pass, especially the IT organization.

When faced with these sorts of challenges, you must take a step back and think differently. You’re not going to boldly leap forward without some creative thinking. First, you need to find a hat that really has a rabbit in it. Here’s a starting suggestion – it’s not the hat you have been using in the past. With this in mind, it is no surprise that topics like “cloud computing,” “IT transformation,” “bimodal IT,” and “agile development” get a lot of attention. They promote bold ideas with the potential for greater business benefits. They may well be “magic hats” that hold lots of business value.

Here’s another bold idea for consideration: take a hard look at your current print infrastructure. If yours is like many IT organizations worldwide, your enterprise print infrastructure is comprised of disparate point solutions that have been cobbled together over time, stopping just short of using duct tape, bubble gum, and baling wire. This kind of complex infrastructure is expensive to maintain, more prone to failure, and difficult to change, thus taking you in the opposite direction of agility. There clearly is no magic with this approach.

You are probably already feeling the consequences of not providing a common set of print services with the desired service level and user experience. You are struggling to meet new application and business requirements and often face delays in rolling out new projects, applications, and upgrades. You can’t easily modernize legacy applications and systems. You are also growing tired of relying on printer manufacturers and third-party service providers to bring you meaningful innovation. What to do? It is time to renovate your core infrastructure — and this includes print and other document-related workflows — so find a solution that simplifies your infrastructure and offers increased functionality.

LRS’ holistic output management is just such a solution. It drives standardization that, by its very nature, reduces cost and increases employee productivity. It also leads to greater simplification of your IT infrastructure, which improves agility. Simple things are inherently easier to deploy, change, maintain, and build upon. Your print infrastructure moves from being rigid (“Who on Earth knows how to change it?”) to a nimble and flexible architecture. You need this kind of infrastructure to drive real innovation and IT transformation, i.e., a hat that really does have a rabbit in it.

Once you have deployed this common, hardware/platform-agnostic print infrastructure across your enterprise, you will lower costs, improve productivity, and respond to changing business requirements in a timelier manner. You’ll also provide users with a consistent print experience across all application and computing platforms. Your users will be happier, so your phone will ring less often. You will also have a core component for your future “everything as service” platform architecture that will support your evolving digital business. Finally, your organization will take a big step forward with state-of-the-art technology, and you will personally make a significant contribution to the business.

So, the next time you are feeling a bit stressed, take a deep breath and crank up the song Under Pressure, by Queen. You’ll feel more relaxed and confident, knowing that you have the right print infrastructure in place to meet the next “emergency of the moment.” But for now, just sing along while you look for the next hat.