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Three Reasons Why Its Time To Take Print To The Cloud

Three reasons why it’s time to take print to the cloud

In the rush to the cloud, it’s little wonder that print has been left behind. Networked printers can look like leftovers from a bygone world, an example of old-school IT when everything was on-premise and managed locally. I have witnessed closely over almost three decades that I have spent in Managed Print Services, that print has moved with the times. It has hitched itself to the cloud juggernaut and become a more flexible service that’s easier to manage.

Cloud printing solves problems associated with traditional printing. Many enterprise environments rely on printers from different vendors with different drivers and set-up configurations. Their estates span multiple locations, compounding the challenge of trying to provide timely support if the service breaks down, a big pain point when multiple vendors are involved.

Cloud printing provides three fixes to these and other on-premise problems and here’s why I.T. and procurement teams should care:

1. Reduce total cost of ownership

The cost of running multiple print servers on premise often gets lost in large organisations. An average organisation will have three print servers costing close to £6,000 in ‘capex’ provisioning, according to Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services Study, with a further £4,500 in ‘opex’ per annum.

At the core of cloud printing is putting a print server in the cloud. Running vendor-agnostic drivers, it will support different makes and types of devices across an entire print estate spanning multiple locations. It’s the classic cloud model that turns capital hardware costs, in this case an on-premise server, into an operational expense and a subscription service that reduces the total cost of ownership. What’s more? Besides saving costs, cloud printing also makes print more sustainable. Cloud computing could save a billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2024, according to an analysis from IDC. Cloud printing reduces or eliminates reliance on physical servers, as centralised hosting can lead to a decline in carbon footprint.

2. Better manage resources

Cloud printing relieves the burden of having to manage servers, a hidden cost in many organisations where multiple devices demand different driver and software updates. As with other IT services, the cloud is a way to centralise administration and management – you do something once and it’s done everywhere. I vividly recall a recent conversation with one of our customers, that own multiple offices across the European region. The customer can see the benefit of having their fleet of printers associated with a single server in the cloud, which has made it a lot easier for them, as they have to manage and maintain only one server and do not have to heavily rely on local IT teams for support.

There will be less burden on IT teams who no longer have to worry about security updates and resilience. Both will be embedded in the cloud platform. It will also become much easier to centrally manage the estate in terms of print rules, profiles and where jobs are routed. You will have the visibility you need to optimise the estate for cost-savings and to monitor usage for continual improvement.

3. Combine flexibility and security

Run from the cloud, it becomes much easier for organisations to add printers and users across multiple locations. Scalability and elasticity synonymous with the cloud bring new levels of flexibility to print management, making light work of growing or cutting back a multi-site estate, while retaining full visibility of how the service is being used.

Just as pandemic lockdowns made remote access the new normal for businesses, the arrival of 5G and greater bandwidth will make mobile working more commonplace. Cloud printing not only supports the new paradigm – allowing users to print from desktops and mobiles in any location – it makes it more secure.  Cloud print solutions are hosted by public providers that have resilience and security built into their platforms. The security offered by cloud printing is one of the primary reasons why one of our customers adopted it, as shared by them during a recent conversation.

As part of the Ergo service, we will provide end-to-end encryption over a zero-trust network. We will make it safe to send sensitive documents to printers regardless of location or device –even mobiles. At the output end of the process, user authentication is required to release jobs from designated printers.

Future-proof your business needs

I believe that moving to cloud printing is the start of a journey rather than the end.  As well as hosting the solution, Ergo can leverage the cloud and seamless integration with other applications to explore benefits beyond the scope of traditional on-premise printing. Advanced analytics can be applied to the service, for example, drawing on data around machine usage and performance and providing a comprehensive overview in form a Power BI report.

As part of regular business reviews, the Ergo MPS team will present data-driven insights, showing pathways to continual improvement and further optimisation. We can advise on even more radical change. Because it’s cloud it can easily be scaled to take on new sites and users as your business grows.

We can facilitate local and global requirements, for example, ensuring GDPR compliance. Or we can align print output to sustainability targets, and make sure the print estate contributes to reducing waste rather than adding to it.

Best of all, the cloud makes print strategic. We can assess new requirements and act on them, quickly and securely, dynamically delivering new functionality to user groups for a short or long term business goals. In a nutshell, cloud printing gives you adaptability with good governance and centralised control.

Speak to our subject matter experts on how you can move print to the cloud.

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