Technology has revolutionised the way we live and work, and people are now more reliant on technology than ever before to help facilitate various elements of their lives. These innovations have led to changes that could not be achieved even a few years ago. One such change is the evolution of the working environment, with an increasing number of businesses now beginning to adopt remote working. A technological advancement that has made this possible is the introduction of the cloud. The cloud has the ability to deliver live computing services over the internet, which means anyone can access their data whenever they want to, wherever they want to. Because of its importance in day to day life, you will struggle to find a business that does not use cloud computing for at least some of its day to day functions.  

However, one area of the business that companies often overlook when it comes to the cloud is printing. Despite the rise of paper-light initiatives in recent years, printing is still heavily relied upon in the office environment. It’s an essential part of most jobs, but historically, many people have had a negative experience when using workplace printers. The rise of cloud computing has helped change this, but as companies adapt to the modern workplace, what should they look out for when deciding to undertake a cloud-first approach to print infrastructure?

Infrastructure improvements

Investing in a managed cloud print service can allow customers to use a variety of devices to print, which can be anything from computers to tablets. This can be achieved without having to worry about the burden of compatibility and drivers, making it easier to access a printer from an array of locations by holding the print document in the cloud until released by the user. Doing this gives the customer the choice of allowing their employees to work where they are most comfortable, which could be in the office, in a café, or even in their own bedroom. Employee wellbeing is important in any workplace, and the flexibility of cloud printing can align with the notions of the modern workplace.

Reduce the IT burden

A cloud first strategy for print infrastructure not only allows employees to work from various locations, helping increase work efficiency, but it also reduces the burden on IT departments. IT departments deal with most things computing related, from fixing the internet to making sure systems are secure enough to tackle cyber-attacks – dealing with the print system only adds to the pressure. It can take numerous hours and a hefty bill to keep a physical print system up to date, and the manpower to achieve this is considerably large. As everything is connected and centralised with cloud printing, basic tasks that would have totalled to hours of work at the end of the year now happen automatically. This is anything from software upgrades to ordering toner ink.

Cloud printing helps reduce this burden, allowing customers to have access to the latest and fastest cloud print management technology, with upgrades added to the solution itself at times. Not only does this save the IT department time and money but it also means employees do not have to constantly go out of their way to install new software updates.

Having the right printer solutions complemented by the best software means everything can be managed on one browser. Doing this saves time, money, and constant maintenance from the IT department.

Operational expenditure

Helping reduce maintenance costs is one thing customers should think about when adopting a cloud-first strategy for their print infrastructure, but it shouldn’t be the only thing. Operating a printing system through the cloud can save money in other ways. Firstly, it allows customers to print on demand, helping document-heavy customers save massively on printing costs. Maintaining a cloud print infrastructure also allows companies to be creative when it comes to print management. Creating specific printer rules or groups can help stop overprinting. For example, some departments within an organisation might be limited to a few pages a week – capping overly excessive departments from overprinting.

Security & privacy

We are now living in an age in which hackers are becoming more advanced, and cyber-security attacks are becoming more common. Customers who want to put security at the heart of their business should consider cloud printing. When cloud printing was first introduced, data was being transferred back and forth through an open network to a cloud provider, making it an easy target for hackers. New technological innovations have now made this data more secure through encryption, which means the data is protected throughout the whole printing process. Without encryption, hackers from outside the organisation could connect to the network and read the data being transmitted between a device and the printer.

When looking to adopt a cloud first print strategy, there are a number of questions customers need to ask. Do they want to reduce the IT burden, enhance their security, or help improve the working environment?

Cloud printing addresses all of these elements, and as the technology continues to evolve it will continue to play a major role in companies across the globe, no matter what sector they work in.