Now that workforces are more decentralised than ever before, businesses and people need to make sure that hybrid and remote teams are supported as effectively as possible. That means deploying the technologies and equipment necessary to maintain efficiency in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Here, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about procuring the hardware to employee needs, both at home and in the office, as well as how a Managed Print Service (MPS) provider can help you meet your specific requirements.
Key considerations for your hybrid workplace
Remote workers will comprise over 35% of the global workforce by 2025, according to Gartner. And by 2024, they will use at least four types of devices, up from three in 2019.
Simply put, remote and hybrid work is here to stay, and your workforce is depending on having the right equipment available to stay productive — printing and scanning hardware included. But to do so, you’ll need to take a number of factors into account:
- Hardware cost: How many locations require hardware? If you’re acquiring equipment in large quantities, you’ll need a lot of upfront capital — a potential barrier for smaller businesses
- Hardware performance: What are your hardware needs? You’ll need to identify the optimal specifications for every remote deployment to make the best use of your investment
- Installation: How will you deploy your devices? This process requires ample planning and could potentially become a logistical headache if not managed correctly
- Maintenance: How will you maintain your equipment? If left unchecked, hardware could abruptly fail and throw off critical workflows
- Supply replenishment: How will you restock consumables? Running out of ink or toner in the middle of an important print job is a major disruption to remote productivity
- Print security: How will you protect your remote print infrastructure? Cyberattacks are increasingly eyeing corporate data, and print deployments are a popular target
- Sustainability: How will your hybrid workplace support your green initiatives? Even in remote deployment, it’s important to reduce your carbon footprint with eco-friendly technologies
Successfully meeting your requirements and managing your print infrastructure in a distributed environment can be a challenge, especially if you lack visibility. The good news is that all of these problems can be mitigated by leasing equipment from an MPS provider.
Simplified and scalable hardware acquisition
When you acquire your hardware from an MPS provider (such as one from Brother’s national MPS network), you can choose from a variety of more flexible acquisition options.
MPS providers allow you to lease an entire fleet of devices — even to remote locations — without requiring a substantial upfront investment. This additional flexibility can be a big advantage for small businesses who need many devices but are unable to allocate the capital to make an outright purchase.
Better yet, MPS providers work with you to identify the optimal hardware for your needs. This ensures your workers are able to leverage the right technologies for their specific requirements and work as productively as possible from respective locations.
In turn, leasing equipment through MPS yields significant hardware advantages:
- Cutting-edge technologies: MPS allows you to acquire the latest printing technologies as they become available and leverage best-in-class capabilities, like workflow automation or mobile collaboration and printing
- Installation: Deployment is managed by the provider so you don’t need to worry about coordinating installations
- Sustainability: MPS providers afford you the opportunity to invest in green technologies and support your sustainability goals through built-in features that reduce your carbon footprint, not to mention free and easy toner recycling from home
Print management: Optimised and automated
Once equipment has been deployed, it needs to be managed effectively. This can be an especially difficult task in the hybrid work environment.
Fortunately, MPS simplifies and centralises print management for you, so you and your employees can focus on staying productive. By first assessing your company’s print processes, an MPS provider can determine the ideal print strategy for your needs.
Rather than manage printing in-house, MPS leverages print management software like PaperCut to acquire print analytics and enforce print quotas and policies. Ongoing monitoring allows you to eliminate bottlenecks, optimise your print infrastructure and cut down on wasteful printing habits.
Additionally, MPS automates maintenance and supply replenishment for all locations. In turn, you never need to worry about devices breaking down or being without critical consumables.
Safe and secure hybrid printing
According to a 2022 Quocirca report, remote working is creating an expanded threat landscape for IT departments. Consequently, over two-thirds of organisations have experienced data losses due to unsecure printing processes in the past 12 months.
However, MPS makes all the difference. In fact, organisations that use an MPS provider are twice as likely to say that keeping up with print security challenges has become somewhat or a lot easier.
When you consider the security features an MPS provider can offer your business, it’s easy to understand why:
- MPS keeps the print network secure through monitoring, user authentication, secure print release and more
- Regular software updates keep devices safe, secure and operable
- MPS allows you to return hardware when newer, safer technologies are rolled out, ensuring your hybrid workplace is equipped with the latest defences and cutting-edge protections
At Brother, we know hybrid work is the wave of the future. That’s why we provide technologies and solutions that can future-proof your print environment, protect your corporate assets and drive efficiencies throughout the business. With access to on-demand support and print expertise, you can rest assured you’re in the capable hands of our commercial specialists.
Schedule a free, no-commitment print assessment to learn more about how our Managed Print Services can support your organisation.