Given the accelerating pace of innovation, businesses are quickly applying digital solutions to their everyday workflows. When it comes to print management, cloud computing is an especially transformative technology.
Indeed, cloud-based solutions are making waves across the country. According to IBM, Australian cloud spending is expected to exceed US$10 billion in 2022 – with nearly half of that comprising hybrid cloud computing. While this trend continues to rise, the vast benefits of cloud print management are becoming more readily apparent.
In stark contrast to traditional print infrastructures, a cloud solution is becoming an increasingly important competitive advantage. As cloud technologies continue to improve, so too are the businesses that adopt them. But before you can employ the right solution, first you’ll need to know the ins and outs of cloud print management.
How does cloud printing work?
Of course, before you set off to acquire your new cloud print management software, you’ll want to know how cloud printing actually works.
Traditional workflows require a lot of physical processes: dedicated server space, constant on-premise IT support and a lot of peer-to-peer communication. By replacing antiquated print infrastructures with cloud print management, you remove those roadblocks and streamline your business operations.
In a cloud environment, a print server or driver isn’t necessary. The cloud creates a link between two web-connected devices — your printer and your laptop, phone or tablet — by bridging them over the internet.
That’s how a cloud infrastructure works, but does it actually work? According to Tesltra’s 2021 study of cloud service in Australia, organisations are worried about how to articulate cloud ROI. Their research indicates, however, that successful cloud adopters focus on more than just financial benefits.
In businesses that successfully adopted cloud technology, end-user experience was one of the top considerations. To truly reap the benefits of cloud services, a business needs to focus on the value added to the user experience rather than direct financial returns. The cloud provides users with the ability to access documents – or devices, like printers – from any location. Cloud ROI, in turn, is measured by the productivity of the user.
The challenges of traditional printing
If your business already uses a traditional print management system, you’re likely worried about making the transition to the cloud.
After all, scaling up your print management might seem like a costly process. So, why not stick with your traditional print infrastructure?
To answer that question, it’s important to address the challenges of traditional printing solutions:
- Lack of print visibility: Due to a lack of insight into the process, print management systems are often inefficiently managed. Worse yet, print policies are ineffectively enforced. This leads to unnecessary print jobs, excessive use of paper and accelerates the depreciation of the printer through wear and tear.
- Cost inefficiency: Without the ability to effectively enforce your organisation’s print policies, reducing cost is a difficult task. Excessive printing not only exhausts an office’s paper supply, it also wastes ink or toner and increases maintenance cost. The more frequently you replace your cartridges, the more frequently your resources are exhausted
- User logjams: If a user sets off to print an important document, they may have to wait their turn. Traditional printing requires a lot of communication between colleagues, which can lengthen and delay the print process.
- On-premise print server: Traditional print environments require an on-premise server to handle your printing. They require manual installation, configuration and constant maintenance. Worst of all, applying major upgrades can be costly and disruptive to your workflows. When print servers are down, so are essential printing procedures.
- In-person IT support: Troubleshooting a printer or server often means extensive downtime while a team of IT specialists figure out the solution. Not only does this throw a wrench into productivity, it also means you need to employ a large number of IT support staff.
Benefits of printing from the cloud
Indeed, traditional printing solutions have their downfalls. So, what does the cloud have to offer?
To understand why you should make the transition, consider the benefits of cloud print management:
- Accountable print management: A cloud printing environment affords businesses the essential application of real-time visibility. With easily accessible metrics, you’ll gain insight into your print processes to identify inefficiencies. You’ll know exactly who is printing on which machine and how much paper, toner or ink they’re using.
- Cost reduction and sustainability: By configuring print quotas, you can easily reduce consumption of valuable resources. In turn, you’ll improve sustainability in your office while optimising printing costs. Better yet, you’ll save big on replacing supplies.
- Improved productivity and workflow: Say goodbye to waiting in line to use a printer — cloud printing allows the user to send their document to the next available machine. Employees won’t waste time scouring their office for an unused printer. That means their time can be spent focusing on other important business tasks.
- Maintenance made easy: Automatic software updates increase cloud printer uptime and ensure sensitive documents are protected. Large IT departments are unnecessary to have on premises when troubleshooting can be done remotely. What’s more, real-time visibility allows the business to monitor supply levels, predict maintenance and stay ahead of the curve.
- Mobile printing: Whether it be a smartphone, tablet or computer, workers are free to print from any web-connected mobile device. This is an especially important feature for workers who jump between devices while they’re working.
Choosing the right cloud printing solution
A cloud printer is easily integrated into your infrastructure and primed for efficiency. When looking for the right printing solution, you need to be mindful of functionality and accessibility. PaperCut Mobility Print, for example, is a platform agnostic cloud print environment. That means it supports almost any system, including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
Brother understands that print management is an essential business application. That’s why we’ve teamed up with PaperCut to deliver you the most comprehensive cloud printing service. Migrating your existing infrastructure is simple with your easily integrated print management system. Better yet, your organisation can keep an eye on your resources while enjoying consistent uptime and productivity.
To learn more about Brother’s cloud-based Universal Print solution, please reach out to us today.