Back when managed print services (MPS) software was first introduced, print management services were commonly offered side by side with hardware and office equipment. The software was considered a business differentiator more than an opportunity to improve and simplify IT departments’ office print.
MPS are services offered by print providers, office equipment and IT resellers, and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to manage your entire print infrastructure and all your print devices.
The software is run through a cloud setup.
Managed print software enables businesses to optimize their printer fleet through print environment assessment, easy deployment across locations, and proactive administration of devices. To embrace cloud-based MPS software, the first step is to ensure infrastructure cloud readiness.
In this article, we’ll dive into our top 15 tips to become cloud-ready, clarify what managed print services are, and what you need to include in your cloud readiness assessment.
What is Cloud Print & Managed Print Services Software?
Managed print services (MPS) are services offered by an external provider to optimize or manage a company's document output. A popular way to achieve that is with the help of cloud print solutions.
With cloud print solutions, you get the most sophisticated print architecture that relieves your IT department of non-mission-critical projects and allows you to administer one solution, hosted anywhere, and keep a consistent overview of your entire print infrastructure.
Let’s delve more into why organizations are moving their IT infrastructures to the cloud.
Why Organizations are Moving to the Cloud
By 2025, 85% of organizations will be cloud-first. There’s a vast number of drivers for moving to the cloud. According to Deloitte, the main cloud migration drivers are data modernization, security governance, and lower print expenses.
Moving to the cloud means accelerating digital transformation and taking a slot at the front end of market innovation. Even more, it’s about addressing the complexities existing within IT departments and pushing back on the current pressure to manage non-strategic work. That way, IT departments become modern and proactive, and the IT team becomes agile as the business grows all while securing cost savings and digitalization.
In the world of print, on-premises infrastructures have seen their fair share of vulnerability and security attacks. Including print in a cloud-first strategy gives you higher security governance and less print costs.
Get Ready for Cloud-Managed Print Services
Cloud readiness is a term that indicates if your data and applications can be moved to future-ready cloud technology with minimal impact on operational continuity.
With a cloud readiness assessment, you can get a good grasp of what you should do to ensure migrating print applications to the cloud becomes a seamless project that aligns well with your overall strategic business plan.
Ready to self-evaluate your cloud readiness? → Take the Quiz
The same description applies to cloud readiness for cloud-managed print services. Ultimately, your cloud readiness level tells you how durable your print infrastructure is in the face of cloud migration and how well your IT environment can withstand migration towards a cloud-first architecture.
Embracing print software and cloud solutions comes with a requirement for cloud readiness. And we’re here to help you get cloud-ready.
Next up, discover 15 cloud readiness tips to move the needle on your digital transformation.
15 Cloud Readiness Tips
Okay, let’s not hold off any longer. Whether you’ve in the earlier or later stages of your cloud readiness evaluation, the following 15 tips will help you make the right choices on what print software your business needs and set your IT department up for cloud success.
#1. Start With the Why
Whether you start with your why or address it right before researching your hosting options, don’t let it slip through your fingers. Our recommendation? Listen to Simon Sinek–and start with your fundamental ‘Why?’.
Every business has its own reasons for why they want to embrace managed print services software, and you need to find out yours’ too. Truth is, there are a lot of viable reasons why you’d want to migrate from print servers to one full-featured cloud print server. Here are some of them:
#2. Set Smart Migration Goals
Smart goals are far from a strange concept today, but for the sake of clarity, here are the mandatory elements that make up smart goals:
As part of embracing a cloud print strategy, you’ll need to first establish a set of specific, measurable goals to track the success of your cloud migration project. Start by painting a clear picture of why.
Here’s a pro tip:
Identify specific goals, what your infrastructure must look like to achieve those goals, and what requirements and restraints you’ll have to address. This will help guide you to the right cloud deployment strategy.
Here’s a SMART goal example:
We want to modernize our print infrastructure and migrate it to a cloud-managed print services software to decrease print-related spending by 15% within the next 2 months while taking pressure off our maxed-out IT team.
#3. Make all Necessary Considerations
Tying into the previous tip, as you’re making preparations and setting goals for your cloud migration, you’ll need to make all necessary considerations on what switching to a managed print services software means to your business, and how it will affect your current IT infrastructure.
To make the preparation stage as easy as possible for you and your IT team, we’ve prepared a rundown of the key consideration to make for migration from server to cloud. Amplify your cloud readiness with the article below:
#4. Interpret the Reconfiguration Needed
The cloud is a different print software architecture, not just a place to store your print jobs. One part of assessing your cloud readiness is about understanding the scope of the reconfiguration and migration.
Numerous print servers will be replaced with one dedicated server. Databases are replaced by services and applications are likely to be replaced with services interfacing with APIs. For instance, in our SAFEQ Cloud, everything can be accessed through a modern API.
On top of that, the software we offer lets you manage multiple print devices, domains, and networks, with one full-featured single driver. This simplifies your print infrastructure and maintenance costs.
#5. The 6 Rs of Cloud Migration
There are multiple, possible cloud migration strategies you can take on. The different strategies are:
- Rehost: a popular migration strategy, known as “lift and shift.”
- Re-platform: emulated cloud, compatible with fixed legacy systems
- Refactor or Rearchitect: costly option for potential scalability
- Repurchase: takes existing data and articulates in a cloud-based product
- Retain: This strategy retains some IT aspects on-premise/in-house
- Retire: Determine what print management tasks can retire completely
A critical part of becoming cloud-ready is being familiar with your options and start drawing conclusions on which option will best suit your IT’s print needs.
Here’s a pro tip:
You don’t need to be an MPS expert to make appropriate evaluations. As long as you can draw some conclusions on what you think is best, a cloud print provider can help direct you toward the best print infrastructure setup for you.
#6. Monitor your MPS Software Migration
As with many other software migrations or implementations, you’ll need to closely supervise the migration as it’s happening to make sure the adoption is hassle-free and meets your clearly-defined criteria. Especially given the previous tip, it’s critical that you monitor the strategy you’ve chosen and remain quick to tackle any potential issues.
#7. Beware of Amplified SecuritY
In your cloud journey toward implementing managed print services software, you’ll realize that cloud architectures demand higher levels of security.
Once your print has been moved to the cloud, whether it be with a private, public, or hybrid model, new security mechanisms will be in effect. The good news here is that security is embedded from the get-go with native cloud solutions.
While cloud providers can and do focus more on security than most enterprises will ever be able to, current solutions to detect and prevent security breaches in the cloud are different from on-premises. It is not just another network.
If you want to achieve maximum cloud readiness, read through these resources on cloud security:
#8. Research your Hosting Options
Once you’ve set a goal to embrace the next step of your digital transformation, you’ll need to research what cloud options you have available. Depending on your unique business, different infrastructures will yield different results. This is why it’s important to know your goals in advance.
There are two elements of options for your cloud environment:
- True cloud services versus ‘hosted in the cloud’ solutions
- Private, public, or hybrid cloud Infrastructure
This tip ties back to tip five where you see more cloud strategies available to you. Different print software offers different hosting options for your print infrastructure, so be sure to keep that in mind as we look at tip nine.
#9. Research your Vendor Options
Next up, it’s time to look into what vendor options you have. We recommend that you allocate time to conduct serious vendor research as vendors offer different infrastructures, different deal types, and much more. With a solution like SAFEQ Cloud, the software support multiple vendors.
If cloud printing is new to you, there’s value in being prepared with a list of questions you want to ask. To get you started, here’s a rundown of 5 questions for choosing a cloud printing solution.
#10. Investigate Benefits & Disadvantages
When it comes to managed print services software, there’s a long list of irrefutable, high-value benefits to yield from. Here are a few of those benefits:
- Improve efficiency
- Reduce spending
- Improve cashflow
- Improve productivity
- Reduce capital expenditure
- Have a more agile IT department
- Improve your information security
- Take the pressure off IT teams
- Scale up as your business scales
In a previous post, we’ve addressed the advantages and disadvantages that come with cloud print. In the article, we also talk about who benefits from managed cloud print services software the most.
#11. Realize what Cloud Migration does for Your IT Team
Cloud print solutions and MPS software exist for one reason, and one reason only. To relieve the burden on IT departments and teams. With a solution like SAFEQ Cloud, you’re given the opportunity to re-focus on mission-critical IT tasks, let go of print tickets and print management with all it includes, and step away from the pressure of handling multiple core IT infrastructures.
While printing is often not included in businesses' cloud-first strategies, it’s often because people don’t realize how much good it can do for IT teams – and contrary to popular belief, it’s a safe and easy migration.
IT teams tend to maintain and supervise a variety of pressuring, complex projects, so by removing print management and replacing it with managed print services software, IT migraines can become a thing of the past.
With true cloud solutions, your team can say "NO" to Print Management!
#12. Leverage a Trial Before you Commit
Taking a step towards embracing cloud print software does not have to be about taking a leap of faith into unknown territory. Before committing to a big change (and investing in it), start by leveraging a broad trial that’s free of charge and gives you comprehensive insights into what software you're potentially committing to.
Different vendors offer different depths of trials. At Y Soft, we want to make sure you get a complete look into what our cloud-first print management software offers, which is why we offer an all-inclusive 30-day free trial.
#13. Create a Cloud-First Strategy & Culture
It’s not enough to resolve the technical challenges of cloud migration. In your company, you’ll need to also consider the transition from a cultural perspective and understand how moving to cloud-managed print services software impacts employees and their daily workflow.
When employees are ready to wholeheartedly embrace the benefits that cloud solutions and managed print services offer, they will be more productive and engaged throughout the implementation, which amps up the chance of successful cloud adoption.
Essentially, there’s a lot of value in including print in your cloud-first strategy.
#14. Leverage All the Best Features
Once you’ve committed to a cloud print software, investigate what features it offers and leverage all the features that best fit your print needs. Depending on the cloud provider and software you choose, you’ll quickly uncover features that relieve your IT team and make print an independent background process.
To give you an example, here are some incredible features to expect with YSoft’s SAFEQ Cloud:
- Pull printing (print roaming)
- Mobile printing
- Serverless printing
- Location-aware printing
- Automated workflows
- Multi-factor authentication
- Operating systems integration
- True Identity Management
- … and much more
#15. Enjoy Your Cloud-Managed Print Software
Finally, make sure to enjoy your new software. While the setup in itself can be done in just 10 minutes with SAFEQ Cloud, preparations and adjusting to the new print architecture can take time. So, once you're done, make sure to enjoy it.
Your new print infrastructure will offer a waterfall of opportunities for your IT team to let go of stressful print management tasks. Instead, IT leads get to step back from print tickets and re-focus on more meaningful tasks.
If you want to learn more about cloud print software in a real-life context, we’ve got a customer story we think you can learn from.
Ambiq Healthcare achieved an annual saving of 50,000 euros by removing VPNs alone. Head here for Ambiq's cloud adoption case study.
If you need a break from reading, listen to Ambiq's story on our podcast instead.
FAQS & FINAL POINTS
It’s safe to say that there are a lot of elements that go into cloud readiness and positioning your business for migration success with cloud-managed print services software.
To wrap it up, here are a few frequently asked questions when it comes to cloud-managed print services:
1) What are the Benefits of CLOUD-Managed Print Services?
- MPS software offer cost-cutting and money saves
- Cloud-hosted services run on data centers that work incredibly fast
- Cloud solutions offer businesses a front seat in market innovation
- Cloud Software (like SAFEQ Cloud) is created to scale with you at your pace
- MPS and cloud print follow excellence-level security metrics
- Regardless of location, time, or device, the software is always available
- APIs allow cloud solutions to easily integrate with your on-prem printers
Learn about the advantages in detail:
2) How do you Check Cloud Readiness?
When identifying cloud readiness, perform a cloud readiness assessment. A cloud readiness assessment lets businesses identify migration objectives, skill gaps, team potentials, scrutinize existing IT infrastructures, research security governance, assess operational readiness, and much more.
A cloud readiness assessment is an imperative first step that provides a solid footing before moving forward with cloud print migration plans. Take our free cloud readiness quiz below and get your results instantly!