Statistics show that cloud-first organizations now outnumber on-premise organizations by a ratio of three to one. The cloud-based printing market is steadily growing, with a whopping 73% of organizations looking to increase their use of cloud-based printing services over the next few years. Today, 70% of companies host more than half of their workflows in the cloud.
Cloud services are not only revolutionizing print. We also benefit from it in everyday ways, when we consume content like music, movies, and books. Even our contacts and photos are backed up on the cloud. It’s the same for the shared documents and spreadsheets we use at work, too. The cloud is becoming the norm in businesses, with 92% of an organization’s IT environment on average being hosted in the cloud today.
Needless to say, this digital transformation requires companies to be agile in adopting solutions and cloud migration services that make life more convenient for customers. The same is true for print management.
Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of cloud-based print management solutions. For starters, cloud print infrastructure eliminates the need for on-site server facilities and data centers. Not to mention that it’s more cost-effective, secure, and less frustrating for most companies’ IT teams.
Granted, a lot of companies are already making the move to cloud-based printing. If you’re just learning about this and are still trying to decide if it’s a good fit for you, allow us to help. In this article, we’ll be discussing why moving your print infrastructure to the cloud is worth considering.
How Does Cloud Printing Work?
Cloud-based printing in itself is straightforward and efficient.
Your documents and information are stored in the cloud and sent to the printer that is nearest to you. You can also choose to print from any printer connected to the cloud, such as a printer on another floor or building (great for before meetings). In fact, you can print from anywhere that’s convenient for you.
With a cloud print infrastructure, you can queue multiple documents for printing. This won’t affect the printer’s performance or cause it to hang because the cloud can ‘hold’ large volumes of data and print jobs.
Then, when you are ready, you can simply head to your printer of choice and confirm your identity via a QR code, password, card, or ID. It depends on the printer model, but the idea is that no one else can retrieve your print job for you, making it incredibly secure.
The printer will then process your request/s, all while you stand by the printer. This reduces instances of documents getting mixed up or forgotten at the print tray.
Do you need specific, product-led reasons for why you should consider a cloud solution? Check out these tested and true reasons with SAFEQ Cloud as the example.
Why Should Organizations Shift to Cloud-Based Printing?
Utilizing cloud-based print infrastructure solutions has many benefits. Here are our top five reasons for recommending you look into cloud migration services to move your print to the cloud:
1. Reduced Costs
Maintaining print servers costs organizations roughly $4,000 per year. According to our customers, administering a print infrastructure on a traditional server platform typically costs them hundreds of dollars per printer. As such, shifting to cloud-based printing has allowed our customers to see significant reductions in their operational and maintenance costs within the first 12 months.
As businesses grow, so does their printing demand. With cloud-based printing, organizations can save on costs otherwise spent on maintenance, as well as on toner and paper.
Printing errors are reduced due to the intentional nature of cloud-enabled printing. Printers, therefore, consume less paper and ink that would otherwise go to waste due to forgotten documents left in the tray. There are also fewer instances of reprints because of colleagues accidentally getting the wrong print jobs.
On top of that, there’s no need for employees to request individual printers for backup. Most teams with print-heavy requirements like marketing and creatives typically request personal backup printers in case of office printer breakdown. These costs can add up since individual printers tend to be expensive, not to mention the extra spend on paper and ink.
Cloud print services are also subscription-based, so organizations only need to pay based on their consumption. Overall, it’s a smart, cost-effective way for businesses and organizations to manage print requirements long-term.
2. Better Security
One of the most often overlooked aspects of security and compliance is insecure printing. In fact, 61% of large organizations have reportedly experienced at least one data breach due to insecure printing. Furthermore, 67% of organizations share the concern of hackers gaining access to their IT networks through an unsecured printer.
The Windows PrintNightmare vulnerability, for instance, exposed a lot of organizations to security risks. It highlighted a major security threat, with printers being a prime target for hackers.
Printing infrastructures on a cloud platform address these concerns by maintaining top-notch security through patches and updates. Not only do cloud-based print service providers constantly monitor their infrastructure, but also have safeguards in place to ensure print security.
With cloud-based printing, only the owner of the document can trigger a print request and retrieve the documents physically at their desired print location. As a result, the chances of data breaches due to document leaks are significantly lowered.
Here’s a rundown of security mechanisms to expect in the cloud:
- Addresses of the entire software security lifecycle
- End-to-end data encryption, in transit and at rest
- Quickly recovers data with high cloud resiliency
- Pull printing features and secure print queue(s)
- Zero-trust security mechanisms
- Protected access procedures (least privilege)
- Integration with on-prem and cloud authentication systems
- Best-in-class users protection with identity verification
- Complete process compliance with security regulations
- Strict logical separation of data
- Frequent threat scanning and PEN-testing by your provider
3. No Print Management
A lot of in-house IT team members are often bogged down by printer-related tasks and helpdesk calls. On-site print servers require regular maintenance. On top of that, IT needs to troubleshoot print errors due to print drivers or print queue management. This can be tedious, especially within large organizations.
Print is the last thing any IT leader wants to take care of–and truth be told, you probably wish you could get rid of it altogether. Instead of wasting resources managing print, you and your IT department could be working on more strategic initiatives. If you don't want to be touching this stuff nearly as much as you used to–why are you?
Migrating to a cloud-centric or cloud-enabled print infrastructure removes complexity, reduces the pressure on IT, and lowers support costs. When you move your print management to a secure cloud-based platform, IT can deploy and control the entire infrastructure easily. There are no restrictions concerning the number of users, locations, or even countries. Everything can be done from a single web-based interface.
Where does the phrase “no print management” come in? The print industry has for a long time been dedicated to delivering presumed-value offerings in the shape of advanced, complex feature sets (I.e., feature-rich solutions). In an effort to bring our attention to real-value solutions, at Y Soft, we’ve introduced the No Print Management concept.
While print management in its practice still exists, also in our cloud offerings, we’re making a deliberate effort to remove the work that is print management away from your IT team. Instead, we’ll do the heavy lifting and let you enjoy a pure cloud printing solution that always just works. The IT department is evolving, and we want our solutions to reflect that change–and provide IT teams with bigger outcomes for less work.
4. Business Agility
Even more than savings, you can support business agility with a cloud-based print environment. Opening a new office? Set up your print infrastructure in minutes. Moving, adding, or changing printers? Update end-users instantly. Migrating your identity management (Azure AD or similar) to the cloud? Integrate print in seconds.
Driving agility within your organization is easily facilitated by a cloud-based print service. In-house print infrastructures typically necessitate finding a server with particular technical specifications. However, the same server will need to be replaced as the organization grows, because then the business will require new specifications. With a cloud-based service, print servers can be automatically scaled without having to invest a fortune for every upgrade.
5. Enhanced User Experience
In-house print solutions typically have several limitations, owing to a lack of expertise, focus, or understanding of the options available. With cloud-based printing, users can enjoy the convenience and security of printing with various functionalities. Most importantly, while we continue to evolve our products for the benefit of your experience, we make sure your users always have the flexibility needed in distributed workforces.
Cloud print solutions are made to be brand-agnostic and easy you access with any operating system. That way, your staff members can use their favorite devices and printers, without being worried about getting constrained now or in the future.
Intracoastal Realty, a real estate brokerage in Wilmington, North Carolina, was able to adopt a cloud-first strategy for its print infrastructure. With ten offices and over 600 staff and real estate agents across various locations, they needed a secure, cloud-based solution that would make it easier for staff and agents to manage print requirements. They currently have 18 devices installed in their locations and are enjoying the benefits of convenient and secure printing.
“In real estate, agents have to move quickly. When it comes to signing contracts, time is of the essence (…) When an agent visits any of our offices, they only see the printers available to them at that location, which makes life much easier for them and doesn’t end up in a call to the helpdesk”, CIO John Schweighardt says.
FAQs on Cloud Migration Services
Q1) Is Migrating to the Cloud Worth it?
With cost-savings, infrastructure simplification, workload automation, enhanced UX and security, increased business agility, and a reduced workload on your IT department, it is indeed worth it to migrate print to a cloud solution. Organizations can let go of pesky and expensive hardware, leverage a pay-as-you-go pricing model, make print a utility, and re-focus on business-critical objectives rather than dealing with troubleshooting user issues.
When all of this is said and done, ultimately, the best way to figure out if a migration is worth it or not is to hear about other businesses’ successes. In this article, we’ve shared the statistics and facts we’ve experienced–next up is delving into real migration stories and the results they’ve yielded.
Listen to our podcast episode with Joe Saccente, Site IT Services Analyst at Mars Inc. He talks about how print should be an invisible process that works like a utility; until it doesn’t. “People just expect it to work but when it goes down then it’s pandemonium”.
Get inspired by the possibilities of letting go of print management and focus on growing your business by listening through this 44-minute episode.