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Cloud-based print management

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Gabriela Garner, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Kofax argues that hybrid working signals the demise of traditional on-premise print management processes. She says with a cloud model, remote and hybrid workers can roam as they please, while organisations can keep documents, data, and networks secure

With most companies sticking with a remote working model or offering employees a hybrid option, people are based in multiple locations and using different devices. For companies, managing a distributed workforce is no easy feat, especially when it comes to ensuring print reliability and security as workers jump around from one location, device, and network to another.

This can mean only one thing for traditional print management processes – just like the office, the death knell tolls. But what’s rising in its place? The answer is cloud-based print management.

Secure printing in a hybrid world

Just like hybrid work is here to stay, so is print. 64 per cent of organisations said printing will remain critical or very important in the next 12 months, according to the Quocirca Print Security Landscape, 2022 report. In the traditional office, printing was easy, but it becomes a lot harder to manage and execute when companies are dealing with a mix of remote and hybrid workers.

On the employee side, time is wasted trying to find the correct printer driver, causing decreases in productivity and job satisfaction. But security is a much bigger issue for companies, since workers are using devices and networks that weren’t purchased or set up by the organisation.

Several stats from the Quocirca survey support the increased security threat:

  • 53 per cent of respondents said the shift to remote working has made it considerably, or somewhat harder, to keep up with print security challenges
  • 67 per cent said they are concerned about the security risks of home printing n68 per cent experienced data losses due to unsecure printing practices in the past 12 months.

Data losses can result in financial penalties, business disruption, and loss of customers. There is also the risk of exposing the company’s IP to competitors. And let’s not forget about compliance requirements – they still must be met even when employees are working from various locations and devices.

Fortunately, resellers can help customers overcome these obstacles.

Cloud-based print management

More than 44 per cent of organisations are already using a cloud-based print service, and another 43 per cent are planning to do so, according to the Quocirca survey. On top of that, more than half of organisations believe a cloud print service is more secure than managing print on-premise. This is an opportunity for resellers that’s ripe for the taking.

There are four primary benefits of cloud-based print management that make it an easy sell to organisations trying to manage a distributed workforce:

1 Improved productivity and efficiency: Employees can focus on their job rather than wasting time determining how to print thanks to features like automatic discovery of print networks with intelligent print driver selection and automatic print queue installation. Secure release and print-later technology arms workers with the documents they need while making sure confidential information isn’t left lying around in a print tray. The ability to print from anywhere to anywhere on the corporate network or home printers with security and tracking balances ease of use with security. A seamless unified experience for print and capture across all devices maximises convenience for remote and hybrid workers.

2 Enhanced document security and compliance: An audit trail provides visibility into who printed what, where and when for a detailed information chain of custody. A secure framework is created through encrypted communication between clients and service, endpoint authenticity validation, protection of data at rest, and data communication encryption. A secure multi-tenant cloud platform can even extend zero trust security to remote workers.

3 Central administration and management: The ability to deploy printers from any location at any time reduces the burden on IT, while automatic version updates give the peace of mind software and drivers are always updated. Organisations can also update drivers from a central management location, making it easier for IT to maximise printer security without increasing the burden on staff.

4 Cost savings: A cloud-based solution lowers on-premise infrastructure costs and lowers the costs related to services, support, and maintenance fees. Predictive analytics provides a visual display of print and capture workflows, making it easier to manage costs and make well- informed decisions.

Remote and hybrid workers can’t be tied down by a traditional printer fleet, and neither can organisations. Give your customers (and their distributed workforce) the freedom they need without sacrificing security.