As the way we do business is changing, the way we print has changed too. More organizations are trading in their traditional print infrastructure in favour of new and advanced cloud office solutions. In 2022, 43% of organizations had already implemented a cloud print management platform. 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”.
Think 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. As the weather report promises an increasingly “cloudy” future, we become more dedicated to give you the facts and foundation necessary to make the right decisions for you, especially when choosing the right cloud-based office solutions for your print infrastructure.
As a whole, cloud migration questions to answer when choosing a solution range from the software itself to the capabilities it enables. This includes putting service-type, ROI, deployment model, infrastructure-type, security, and scalability capabilities under the microscope.
Keep reading to learn more about what questions you need to ask yourself and your potential solution provider when making the switch to cloud.
What is Cloud-Based Office Solutions in Print?
Before we go any further, let’s explain what cloud printing is.
Simply put, cloud printing enables users to wirelessly print any document on any networked 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 operating system.
While the benefit of this is self-explanatory for the personal user (you can complete print jobs without having to rely on connected printers or proximities), cloud printing can benefit the office even more. The use of a cloud-based print system not only means that you can complete jobs without print servers, but ensures you can enjoy reduced maintenance costs, stress-free software updates, manage printing parameters, and more.
With this type of system, you can expect:
- Cloud high availability
- Elastic architecture
- Comprehensive security mechanisms
- Little to no infrastructure dependency
- Automated updates (including security)
- Lower system costs
- … and much more
6 Things to Consider when Switching to Cloud Print
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 a list of six cloud migration questions that your company can ask itself before you initiate your switch.
1. Is the Solution a True Cloud Service?
Cloud-Based print solutions come in many forms, each with its own 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 operating systems (OS), middleware, and applications 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.
True cloud print systems are entirely run from the cloud without any on-premises dependencies. The architecture makes maximum use of modern cloud technology, through a pay-only-for-what-you-use SaaS subscription model. Even more, they:
- … can be seamlessly deployed from anywhere
- … can be managed remotely (requires no on-site presence)
- … offer a similar experience and service regardless of vendor
- … enables scalable capabilities at a low cost
- … remove the need for additional components such as VPNs
- … support cloud-based user authentication (like Okta, Azure, and more)
What's the benefit of a true cloud service? Check that out here:
→ Manage Cloud Print with Cutting-Edge True Cloud Solutions
2. Does the Solution Offer Good ROI?
What business and revenue model is your solution provider offering? While a subscription model is expected with cloud-based systems, it’s important to understand what the subscription model is based on. Traditional managed print services are often based on paper usage, but that’s not the case with cloud solutions.
With different print services come different hardware and software costs. Many organizations struggle to keep track of the total cost of operating their print 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. The subscription is based on parameters like users, devices, or licenses.
With SAFEQ Cloud, for instance, you only pay for the licenses you need.
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-premises print environment for professional cloud-based office print, 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-prem private cloud due to security concerns. A good cloud printing solution can accommodate both use cases without sacrificing features.
Ultimately, high availability and infrastructure elasticity is a must; both in terms of deployment flexibility as well as access to the software itself.
As the cloud makes print a utility, solution providers need to deliver their services in a flexible manner that supports any IT system, any IT department, any business size, and any workforce. Regardless of deployment, the software needs to be accessible from anywhere at any time.
4. Is the Service Scalable Across All Significant Printer Brands?
Top-tier enterprise cloud office solutions does not limit your IT operations by depending on specific device brands. You should (and can) have the freedom to choose the correct answer that fits your print and capture needs today while having the flexibility to upgrade your fleet with any brand tomorrow. With brand-agnostic cloud print software, you can choose the printers that work best for your needs without getting constrained now or in the future.
Interested in scanning too? → Multi-Brand Scanning: Untangling the Scan Process with Cloud
5. Should You Opt for Multiple Platforms or Converged Infrastructure?
To reduce deployment costs, simplify deployments, improve agility, and minimize the time spent on managing common ERP systems like print infrastructure, we recommend a unified architecture, I.e., converged infrastructure. This software-based solution type converges storage and processes into one solution.
IT administrators continue to advocate the use of multiple operating systems to empower users in an organization to choose the best tool for their jobs, to cater to a distributed workforce, or to maintain a BYOD technology policy. With native cloud solutions, you don’t have to pick one or the other.
Cloud converged print infrastructure allows you to let go of print management altogether. The software enables easy and automated printing and scanning in a low-touch system, removes the need for pesky hardware, and ensures a high level of user flexibility due to brand agnosticism for both printer devices and operating systems.
6. Does your Cloud Platform Protect Against Security Concerns?
We have saved the single most important question for last. When considering a cloud service, you can’t turn a blind eye to the infrastructure’s security readiness.
It’s essential to ensure that the solution you pick is compliant with local and international legislation—and that it doesn't complicate your effort of being compliant with important government regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR.
Secure cloud-based office print solutions will enable you to define where data is located, how long it is stored, and who has access to it.
Check out what’s included in a fully protected print solution → SAFEQ Security
Some solutions will route all print jobs through the cloud—verify this with your service provider if you’re unsure. For security and bandwidth reasons, many organizations prefer to keep print jobs behind a firewall. With true cloud solutions, you can expect an implemented zero-trust security model, advanced encryption, access controls (usage rights), and more.
When it comes to delivering scalable and secure solutions that support distributed print environments, we help ensure cost-effective cloud printing is available to all. However diverse the requirements, our aim is to help users reduce their IT burden while achieving high availability.
Are you currently looking at different cloud strategies to suit your business? As IT departments see a shift in their role and undergo a full-out IT transformation, we see more and more companies looking for cloud solutions that take the pressure off IT teams and are future-proofed.
These solutions need to be exhaustively protected with end-to-end encryption of data and user protection (plus authentication), be scalable for future needs, and be managed by the solution provider. A solution that gives you that and much more is YSoft SAFEQ Cloud. But that’s not synonymous with the solution being the right one for you. That’s for you to decide!
To find out, book an expert-guided tour of the platform. During the demonstration, ask all the questions we listed above (and any other cloud questions you may have), and uncover what benefits the cloud printing solution has to offer.