As the way we do business is changing, the way we print is changing too. More and more organizations are trading in their traditional print infrastructure in favour of new and advanced cloud printing. And given that offices already use cloud solutions for just about everything else, you’re not alone if you’re thinking, “it’s about time.”
Thank about it this way: how many platforms that you interact with daily run on local servers? Whether it’s Office 365, Amazon AWS, or Salesforce, they’re all cloud-based. We’ve seen the weather report, and the forecast for businesses is that things are going to get a whole lot “cloudier” from here on out.
How does cloud printing work?
Before we go further, let’s explain what cloud printing is.
Simply put, cloud printing enables users to wirelessly print any document on any network printer(s). This type of printing was made mainstream partly thanks to the popular but now defunct Google Cloud Print, which allowed users to quickly complete print jobs from any device connected to the internet, regardless of the operating system.
While the benefit of this is pretty self-explanatory for the personal user (you can complete print jobs without having to rely on connected printers), cloud printing can benefit the office even more. The use of a cloud print management solution not only means that you can complete jobs without print servers, but means you can enjoy reduced maintenance costs, stress-free software updates, manage printing parameters, and more. So what do you need to know before you get started?
Switching over to a cloud printing solution: 5 things to consider
Like any transition, the switch to cloud printing is not always easy. If your company uses its existing printing solutions, it can be challenging for an entire workforce to latch onto something new. And while we’re sure that you will find your transition over to cloud print services is well worth it, we’ve put together five questions that your company can ask itself before you decide to switch over.
1. Is the solution a true cloud service?
Cloud printing solutions come in many forms, each with its way of operating. Two of the most common approaches are “Infrastructure as a Service” and “Software as a Service.”
With Infrastructure as a Service, the management and maintenance of OS, middleware, and application remain an internal responsibility. With SaaS (Software as a Service), maintenance responsibilities are taken care of, enabling you to operate all sites and branches from one location.
2. Does the printing solution offer a good ROI?
With different print services come different hardware and software costs Many organizations struggle to keep track of the total cost of operating their print management infrastructure. One of the benefits of relying on a complete cloud printing solution is that you can count on a transparent monthly or annual subscription fee that fits within your allocated budget.
Another benefit of opting for a complete package is that you can quickly scale up or down based on your operational needs. When you trade-in your traditional on-premise print environment for professional cloud print management services, you can expect to see a positive Return on Investment (ROI) within the first year.
3. Does the service offer both public and private cloud options?
Many organizations prefer a hosted public cloud service, while others choose an on-premise private cloud due to security concerns. A good cloud printing solution can accommodate both use cases without sacrificing features.
4. Is the service scalable across all significant printer brands?
A good enterprise cloud printing solution should not limit your IT operations by depending on specific device brands. You should have the freedom to choose the correct answer that fits your needs today while having the flexibility to upgrade your print fleet with any brand tomorrow.
5. Does your cloud platform protect against security concerns?
We just might have saved the most important question for last. When considering a cloud service, you should keep specific security concerns in mind.
First of all, it’s essential to ensure that your solution is compliant with local and international legislation—and also that it does not complicate your effort of being compliant with important government regulations such as GDPR.
A secure cloud print infrastructure service will enable you to define where data is located, how long it is stored, and who has access to it.
Some solutions will route all print jobs through the cloud—verify with your service provider if you’re unsure. For security and bandwidth reasons, many organizations prefer to keep print jobs behind their firewall.
If you’re currently looking at different cloud strategies to suit your business, read about how we’ve helped other companies with goals like yours or consider a free trial of our cloud printing solution. We’re sure your business will benefit.