Why should businesses use cloud-based print management? One simple reason: because it’s a simple solution to a complex problem.
Very few executives think about their print infrastructure too deeply. But they should — especially when it goes through a significant change, such as a reduction in usage or an increase in remote employees.
Inefficient printing infrastructure can eat away at the bottom line, as well as taking up a huge amount of IT staff time as these well-paid professionals are taken away from adding business value to trying to figure out why a document didn’t print.
And although current circumstances may make print seem to be less critical, it is still necessary for many businesses, and cloud-based print management, in particular, is important now and into the foreseeable future.
Why use cloud-based print management?
Cloud-based print management delivers the same benefits as any cloud app plus some bonus benefits.
First, the list of common cloud benefits:
- It’s a service. You don’t need to buy additional infrastructure or implement in-house software (though you still may need to integrate with in-house tools).
- Faster provisioning saves IT staff time
- It often costs less and, because it’s an operating cost and not a capital expenditure, improves cash flow.
- Frequent updates mean you always have the most up-to-date version, without needing to purchase Version 18.104.22.168b of your provider’s next upgrade.
Now, here are some bonus benefits of cloud-based print management:
- Reduced security risks to your business from cybercriminals hacking your print jobs or common criminals “hacking” your paper documents.
- Simplified management of your print fleet makes your business’ print architecture run more smoothly. Even better, outsourcing to a third-party expert provider of printing services completely removes the burden of print support from the backs of your IT staff.
- The scalability of cloud-based print management is beneficial for businesses in an uncertain economy. In a recent Quocirca COVID-19 Market Insight report, 71% of print industry executives surveyed expected increased demand for cloud-based print management.
Is print management in the cloud secure?
Every company has information to protect. For heavily regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, information security requirements are even more stringent for their customers’ personally identifiable information.
The short answer to the question, “Is the cloud secure?” is “yes.” In fact, with encryption, two-factor log-in, and secured storage infrastructure with limited physical access, among other elements, cloud apps are often more secure than in-house systems.
Cloud-based print management can be implemented via the public cloud. Private cloud and on-premise options are also available for those regulated industries who need an extra level of security and safety.
Larger organizations can mix and match all three options to achieve the precise mix of security and efficiency they need.
Adding cloud-based print management to your services as a copier dealer allows you to add tremendous value to your customers, further differentiating your business from the competition who still pushes boxes.
You can do so without adding in-house complexity. For most implementations, you will see the same benefits as users — less complexity and no need to install software.
When you work with a cloud-based print management app, you’ll help your customers centralize print management and customize their workflows (and they’ll be able to do that themselves too if they choose).
A brief point about cloud apps and IT infrastructure
Before I end, I feel obliged to point out a too-often-overlooked issue with cloud apps (print management, of course, but ANY cloud tool used for business) before going further. They need to be managed just like any other IT tool.
They must be included in your overall IT strategy. Just because they are easily sourced and implemented doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be centrally governed. Shadow IT can be a real drain on a company’s effectiveness and governance, increase risk, add redundancy (as departments independently provision the same solution), and can add costs.
Cloud-based print management’s time is now. For businesses, it’s a great way to track printing costs and eliminate waste while freeing IT staff to focus on adding value to the business instead of fixing the printer, and it allows the scalability necessary for a reduced workforce, or a remote one.
For copier dealers, cloud-based print management is a natural addition to existing services and can provide a still-viable revenue stream in a time when traditional print products and services are struggling. Dealers must adapt and expand to find a viable path forward, and cloud services can be a major paving stone in that path.