Having an SMB or enterprise IT infrastructure in the cloud presents an enormous opportunity for organizations to take advantage of the benefits of cloud tech–like cost-effectiveness, agility, scalability, and a lower IT workload. Technologies in cloud computing can also integrate well with legacy solutions and even seamlessly integrate your IT systems into a hybrid infrastructure. The cloud represents the ability to do less with more.
Overall, cloud technology solutions allow organizations of all sizes to oversee their infrastructure in a secure environment while taking advantage of improved performance, cost savings, and management-free IT. Cloud technology also enables a more innovative approach to IT infrastructure, allowing service providers to quickly develop outcome-focused solutions or scale existing services without the need for large investments in hardware or software.
The agility of cloud-based solutions facilitates innovation at a much faster pace than traditional IT solutions, empowering organizations like yours to keep up with market trends as they happen. On top of that, cloud technology allows for a greater degree of scalability and flexibility. Even better, with innovative cloud technology, you can let go of managing your print infrastructure.
Emerging Cloud Technology Solutions to Look Out For
Cloud software can be highly beneficial, especially for organizations with limited IT staff or capabilities in networking, storage, and databases. According to Gartner’s 2023 CIO and Technology Executive Survey, 50% of organizations are beginning to invest more in cloud platforms—while simultaneously reducing legacy infrastructure expenses.
Organizations are also reportedly geared toward modernization across the board, with 46% reportedly investing in application modernization. Future technology predictions also anticipate that the following trends in cloud adoption will gain further momentum:
- A more diverse scope of workloads moving to the cloud: Moving forward, a wider range of workloads will be migrated to cloud infrastructures. These will include systems management, data analytics, server virtualization, security, marketing, sales, and data management. Could AI have something to do with that?
- Prioritizing cloud-only strategies: An increasing number of companies are adopting a cloud-only architecture approach. As buyers become more outcome-oriented, they’re investing in software that delivers bigger outcomes at a fraction of the cost of legacy environments on contracts. And with IT departments shifting from a support team to a business-generating unit, this is not entirely surprising.
- Multi-cloud solutions: Many companies are using multi-cloud solutions, which means they use different cloud services from different providers. At the same time, we see a preference for converged infrastructure. We believe the multi-cloud trend has less to do with preference, and more to do with what’s available. We hear customers asking for vendor-agnostic services that consolidate and centralize as much as possible, resulting in fewer provider agreements and better solutions.
According to projections, companies are expected to spend $591.8 billion on public cloud services by the end of 2023, with an average of $151 per employee. This increased spending is a result of companies' aspirations to take advantage of full-fledged scalability, better profitability, future-proof services, and efficient security mechanisms—all of which can be achieved with public clouds.
That said, on-premises infrastructure remains a viable option for certain organizations, especially those in highly regulated industries or with a dependency on legacy hardware. Even these businesses can reap the benefits of the cloud. Read on to learn how.
Key Benefits of Cloud Adoption
The cloud offers agility and economic advantages to industries across the board, benefitting businesses of all sizes. Here are some of the key advantages that come with cloud infrastructure adoption:
- Scalable Infrastructure
Organizations can quickly scale up or down their infrastructure to meet changing requirements. This benefit is great for growing businesses and businesses with fluctuations in usage over time.
- Flexible Storage Options
Cloud storage offers a flexible and secure way to store data, making it easy to access from any device. Even with data stored locally, proper authentication will allow you to access it from anywhere, at any time.
- Reduced Costs
With the cloud, organizations can save on hardware and software costs while reducing IT infrastructure maintenance costs. With SaaS subscription pricing, you only pay for the licenses you need.
- Enhanced Security
Cloud security measures such as encryption, authentication, and access control provide an extra layer of protection for data stored in the cloud. Solutions like our SAFEQ Cloud are even built with a zero-trust architecture to protect users and mitigate risk.
- Improved Collaboration
Cloud solutions make collaborating with team members in other locations easier, reducing the need for physical meetings.
- Increased Agility and Productivity
Cloud print services can streamline tedious processes and reduce the burden on IT teams. This allows them to let go of print management and focus their attention on more meaningful, strategic projects.
- Reduced Complexity
Legacy data centers are notoriously complex and expensive to maintain, not to mention siloed. Cloud models simplify your infrastructure significantly, all the way from design to deployment.
Cloud Technology Innovations in Print
The print industry is set to experience future revenue growth. As the tech industry reaches a turning point, technological disruption is bringing the industry forward. Many print manufacturers (72%) are optimistic that the market is bouncing back thanks to a new priority on disruptive innovation.
On the future of printing technology, Quocirca and Print 2025 says:
"It’s not a matter of if, but when, the industry will be disrupted. 71% of print industry executives expect there will be disruption ahead."
Cloud printing technology provides users access to their documents from any connected device, enabling a seamless transition between print jobs and drastically reducing the time spent on printing tasks. The cloud also preserves documents in an easy-to-access format consistent across all devices, allowing workers to seamlessly take their work anywhere.
Organizations are expected to be more agile and proactive in terms of leadership, as well as in adopting efficient and digitally-sound cloud solutions. Research shows that managed print services (MPS) providers are expected to provide significant strategic value by 2025.
As for cloud solution providers, we’re the ones here to carry the industry disruption and reposition the print value equation from products and features to customer success outcomes.
Additionally, security and cloud are considered the primary domains for investment until 2025, with security rated a top priority by 84% of organizations. Cloud computing follows closely at 66%. Print security is a specific concern, with experts projecting a greater interest in secure, cloud-enabled print solutions by 2025.
Businesses are ready to further their digital enablement and leverage the cloud to build a modern, less dependent IT infrastructure. But what about those businesses with printers that don’t have cloud software natively installed? No need to worry; there’s a cure for that. 👇🏽
Gateways Ensure Cloud Access for All
If you still rely on hardware and legacy solutions but are curious about how you can transition to the cloud, then a cloud gateway might be a great fit for your organization. Such a gateway enables a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
A secure cloud gateway allows businesses to connect their print environment to the cloud, ensuring a cloud-ready printer fleet. How does that work? With an edge device (i.e., the gateway), you can remotely deploy embedded apps for non-cloud native terminals, delivering print jobs from the cloud, and connecting to on-premises authentication services.
A gateway is convenient for offices that still use printers that cannot seamlessly connect to the cloud without a piece of hardware. Y Soft's OMNI Bridge Edge Device, for example, is a cloud gateway appliance that bridges that gap between your hardware and the cloud—and ensures compatibility with cloud print software in just three easy steps.
What is an 'edge device'?
Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to data sources like IoT devices or local edge servers. Edge computing helps businesses unlock the potential of the vast untapped data that’s created by connected devices, especially when bridging the gap between legacy hardware and cloud technology.
An Edge Device is the local edge server (small piece of hardware) that makes the deployment of computing and storage resources at the location where data is produced possible. It can communicate with the cloud and hence, becomes a gateway between legacy infrastructure and cloud capabilities.
By utilizing Edge devices, organizations can integrate a hybrid cloud infrastructure and solve common issues in a distributed workforce:
Latency is eliminated as all printing is processed on-site, without requiring a network. Information about the job (the metadata) for reporting purposes can be sent when the network is available.
Bandwidth is reduced because job traffic remains local, traveling only from the client workstation to the Edge device and to the printer. Only metadata is sent over the network.
Security mechanisms remain active. Because print jobs are processed locally, data remains secure and private on the company’s network.
OMNI Bridge as Your Secure Cloud Gateway
The OMNI Bridge Edge device is a cloud integration gateway that our team has manufactured in-house to ensure better compatibility and security. When used with our Native Cloud or Managed Cloud, OMNI Bridge can help organizations connect printers in a distributed network to the cloud quickly and cost-effectively—allowing users to print anytime and from anywhere.
Among its key benefits are:
- Easy and cost-effective cloud migration
- Less costly than a dedicated print server
- Hybrid cloud print infrastructure
- One-stop solution for supplies and support
- Fully enabled print roaming and remote printing
- Can automate IT tasks and manage printers from a central web interface
- The system requires no maintenance and is zero-trust technology-based
- Ensure the highest level of security for all endpoints
FAQs on Cloud Access
Q1) What is the safest way to leverage infrastructure in the cloud for legacy printers?
For non-cloud-connected legacy devices, the best way to leverage the cloud is through a secure cloud connect gateway. A gateway appliance provides users with an easy and cost-effective way to connect their existing printers to the cloud. This helps to enhance security and flexibility while reducing IT costs and saving time.
Q2) What does a cloud gateway do?
A cloud gateway serves as a means to establish communication between technologies that don't normally communicate with each other (legacy systems and the cloud). It accomplishes this by converting protocols and enabling seamless connectivity, hence establishing a hybrid cloud infrastructure for businesses that still require some legacy hardware.
Cloud computing has quickly become an integral part of modern business operations, and its ability to provide cost-effective, agile, and secure solutions that scale with an organization's growing needs makes it a critical factor in the success of many SMBs and enterprises.
Businesses looking to stay competitive and ahead of the curve in an ever-changing digital landscape must embrace tech infrastructures that take advantage of cloud computing, such as cloud-enabled print infrastructures.
These solutions help IT teams become more productive, less bogged down by tedious and non-strategic tasks, and move the business forward. Even if you need a gateway to get there.