The demand for cloud printing is primarily driven by the overall organizational benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS) portfolio. The expectation of flexibility in workplace tools, of plug-and-play solutions for cloud print services are also a factor. The benefits of cloud far outweigh reduced hardware and IT costs.
Here are some good reasons for your business to move into cloud printing solution:
- Statistics say that for every $1 spent on printing supplies another $9 is spent on managing the printing environment. Cloud printing allows scaling of consumption, eliminates maintenance, and provides excess value at no net cost.
- Easy access to printing across diverse locations and devices enables work from anywhere without technological limitations or inefficiencies.
- With cloud printing, companies can reduce conflicts and loss of productivity that can arise every time an employee needs to print from a different printer driver. By eliminating the need to have printer drivers on users’ computers, it eases workflow to a great extent.
- A central web-based interface in the cloud, enables efficient monitoring and adherence to compliance guidelines.
- No risk from decentralised hardware being compromised or corrupted.
- Shared server resources limit the environmental footprint and related carbon footprint by 30-90%; this can fit into the CSR strategy of modern organizations.
- Flexibility of cloud printing allows businesses to scale devices, printers, and users easily and seamlessly.
- Finally, the agility offered by enterprise-class print solution is another good reason for organizations to adopt it. You can opt for a trial in a real-world scenario, right in your actual business environment before committing to it.
Printer infrastructure service—finding the one!
Cloud printing technologies have different implications on every business. Also, not all cloud printing solutions are designed the same way. It is important to know this difference in order to find the right solution for your organization.
Here are some pointers on how to choose the right cloud printing solution for your business.
- Security: Print-related data security breach is a critical issue for organizations. According to recent stats, at least one print-related data breach has been reported by nearly 60% of organizations in the past year. If you are not opting for a private cloud, data is vulnerable to cyber attacks in a public cloud. Select a cloud printing solution that employs stringent security measures like user authentication mechanism, single sign-on (SSO), or Identity Management (IdM), etc.
- True cloud vs Hosted cloud: A hosted cloud solution will still require the management and maintenance of OS, middleware and application. While a true cloud service will deliver all maintenance responsibilities.
- Compatibility with legacy printing: As a business that has probably invested thousands of dollars in its print infrastructure over the years, you wouldn’t want all that money to go down the drain. Not only is the idea not feasible, but also eats into precious business resources. This is one of the key reasons why many businesses hesitate at the idea of tossing aside their existing legacy systems for cloud-based printing, regardless of its benefits. To mitigate these concerns, it’s critical to select an enterprise cloud printing service provider that can integrate its solutions with your existing infrastructure, instead of pushing for replacing all or a significant slice of it.
- Cost transparency: Cloud printing solutions should clarify their print reduction strategy, device consolidation management, streamlining policy of printing environment, fitting your operating budget, and transparent billing structure. Make sure you are aware of the predictable costs.
- Accessibility points: The perfect cloud printing solution will allow enhanced accessibility to print services. In the current situation, enquire if support is available for mobile and bring-your-own-device or BOYD. Also check their policies and strategies of scalability during periods of rapid growth. It should have the flexibility to adapt to ever changing business needs.
- Reporting functionality: Centralized reporting combined with predictive monitoring provides valuable insight into print usage. Data reporting can offer much visibility to business decision-makers. It is a true marker of category leaders.
- Service independence: The right cloud printing solution will not limit your IT operations by preferences towards specific device brands. There should be the flexibility to upgrade your print fleet with any brand according to changing business needs. The perfect solution will support embedded clients and major MFP brands like 3D printing solutions from Konica Minolta.
When done right, a cloud print solution can offer the benefits of service quality, accessibility, and security across a range of business functions. If the points above are taken into consideration while choosing a cloud printing solution, you can expect to see significant savings and a ROI sooner.
By Jason Lee