Statistics show that cloud-first organisations now outnumber on-premise organisations by a ratio of three-to-one. The cloud-based printing market is likewise steadily growing, with a whopping 73% of organisations looking to increase their use of cloud-based printing services over the next few years.
Cloud services are not only revolutionising printing. We also benefit from it in everyday ways, such as the way we consume content like music, movies, and books. Even our contacts and photos are backed up on the cloud, right? It’s the same for the shared documents and spreadsheets we use at work, too.
Needless to say, this digital transformation requires companies to be agile in adopting solutions that will make life more convenient for customers. The same is true for print management.
More and more businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of cloud-based print management solutions. For starters, cloud-based printing eliminates the need for on-site server facilities and data centres. Not to mention that it’s more cost-effective, secure, and less frustrating for most companies’ IT teams.
Granted, a lot of companies are already making the move to cloud-based printing. However, if you’re just learning about this and are still trying to decide if it’s a good fit for you, allow us to help. In this article, we’ll be discussing why moving your print infrastructure to the cloud is worth considering.
How Does Cloud-Based Printing Work?
Your documents and information are stored in the cloud and sent to the printer that is nearest to you. You can also choose to print from any printer connected to the cloud, such as a printer on another floor or building (great for before meetings). Technically, you can print from anywhere that’s convenient to you.
You can queue multiple documents for printing. This won’t affect the printer’s performance or cause it to hang because the cloud can ‘hold’ large volumes of data and print jobs.
Then, when you are ready, you can simply head to your printer of choice and confirm your identity via a QR code, password, or ID. It depends on the printer model, but the idea is that no one else can retrieve your print job for you, making it incredibly secure.
The printer will then process your request/s, all while you stand by the printer. This reduces instances of documents getting mixed up or forgotten at the print tray.
Why Should Organisations Shift to Cloud-Based Printing?
Utilising cloud-based print management solutions has many benefits. Here are our top five reasons for recommending cloud-based printing:
1. Reduced Costs
Maintaining print servers costs organizations about $4,000 per year. According to our customers, administering a print infrastructure on a traditional server platform typically costs them hundreds of dollars per printer. As such, shifting to cloud-based printing has allowed our customers to see significant reductions in their operational and maintenance costs within the first year.
As businesses grow, so does their printing demand. With cloud-based printing, organisations can save on costs otherwise spent on maintenance, as well as on toner and paper.
Printing errors are reduced due to the intentional nature of cloud-based printing. Printers, therefore, consume less paper and ink that would otherwise go to waste due to forgotten documents left at the tray. There’s also lesser instances of reprints because of colleagues accidentally getting the wrong print jobs.
Additionally, there’s no need for employees to purchase or request individual printers for backup. Most employees and teams with print-heavy requirements like marketing and creatives typically request personal backup printers in case of office printer breakdown. These costs can add up since individual printers tend to be expensive, not to mention the extra spend on paper and ink.
Cloud print services are also subscription-based, so organisations only need to pay based on their consumption. Overall, it’s a smart, cost-effective way for businesses and organisations to manage print requirements long-term.
2. Better Security
One of the most often overlooked aspects of security and compliance is insecure printing. In fact, 61% of large organisations have reportedly experienced at least one data breach due to insecure printing. Furthermore, 67% of organisations share the concern of hackers gaining access to their IT networks through an unsecured printer.
The Windows PrintNightmare vulnerability, for instance, exposed a lot of organisations to security risks. It highlighted a major security threat, with printers being a prime target for hackers.
Printing infrastructures on a cloud platform address these concerns by maintaining top-notch security through patches and updates. Not only do cloud-based print service providers constantly monitor their infrastructure, but also have safeguards in place to ensure print security.
With cloud-based printing, only the owner of the document can trigger a print request and retrieve the documents physically at their desired print location. As a result, the chances of data breaches due to document leaks are significantly lowered.
3. Lesser Printer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Calls for IT
A lot of in-house IT team members are often bogged down by printer-related tasks and helpdesk calls. On-site print servers require regular maintenance. On top of that, IT needs to troubleshoot print errors due to print drivers or print queue management. This can be tedious, especially within large organisations.
As such, print-related tasks pull the focus away from more important tasks such as ensuring network security, development, and other projects. This is why we strongly recommend using print services that can free up IT teams of print-related busywork.
Migrating to a cloud-based print infrastructure removes complexity, reduces the pressure on IT, and lowers support costs. When you move your print management to a secure cloud-based platform, IT can also deploy and control the entire infrastructure easily. There are no restrictions concerning the number of users, locations, or even countries. Everything can be done from a single web-based interface.
4. Business Agility
Even more than savings, you can support business agility with a cloud-based print environment. Opening a new office? Set up your print infrastructure in minutes. Moving, adding or changing printers? Update end-users instantly. Migrating your identity management (Azure AD or similar) to the cloud? Integrate print in seconds. Our feature set allows all of these features and many more as standard. We’ve also got a complete set of platform APIs, enabling even further system integrations.
Driving agility within your organisation is easily facilitated by a cloud-based print service. In-house print infrastructures typically necessitate finding a server with particular technical specifications. However, the same server will need to be replaced as the organisation grows, because then the business will require new specifications. With a cloud-based service, print servers can be automatically scaled without having to invest a fortune for every upgrade.
5. Enhanced User Experience
In-house print solutions typically have several limitations, owing to a lack of expertise, focus or understanding of the options available. With cloud-based printing, users can enjoy the convenience and security of printing with various functionalities like mobile and guest print.
Intracoastal Realty, a real estate brokerage in Wilmington, North Carolina, was able to adopt a cloud-first strategy for its print infrastructure. With ten offices and over 600 staff and real estate agents across various locations, they needed a secure, cloud-based solution that would make it easier for staff and agents to manage print requirements. They currently have 18 devices installed in their locations and are enjoying the benefits of convenient and secure printing.
‘In real estate, agents have to move quickly. When it comes to signing contracts, time is of the essence (…) When an agent visits any of our offices they only see the printers available to them at that location, which makes life much easier for them and doesn’t end up in a call to the helpdesk,’ CIO John Schweighardt says.
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