Options to accommodate printing in an increasingly remote environment

Secure cloud-based print management is an SaaS solution that enables organizations to manage their printers through a cloud-based solution.

“Organizations can give their employees very productive tools to easily print regardless of the device they’re using and regardless of where they are — on the road, in the office or at home,” says Curtis Verhoff, Advanced Solutions Manager at Blue Technologies, Inc.

The definition of workplace has changed as employees increasingly work outside an office. Having cloud-based printing solutions virtually eliminates the printing challenges a remote workforce might face.

“Cloud-based solutions make end users more productive, save money associated with infrastructure and IT labor, and provide greater capabilities when it comes to printing,” he says

Smart Business spoke with Verhoff, about how cloud-based solutions are helping organizations meet the remote-work moment.

What distinguishes cloud-based print management?

Two types of print management exist: a cloud-based solution or a premise-based solution. The latter is defined by on-site IT infrastructure — software, servers and other IT hardware — that support a company’s printing functions. A cloud-based solution doesn’t require the same on-site hardware outlay, but still supports the various types of printing from different types of devices while offering IT the capabilities to support and easily manage both users and printers from the central interface of a cloud-based portal.

While cloud-based solutions are well-suited to support remote work, providing that same capability with a premise-based solution would require an organization to implement new security solutions as well as hardware and software upgrades to allow those remote users to print from anywhere on any device. There will be additional expenses and IT support required to offer remote users the ability to either print locally or on printers that are at the office.

How could companies benefit from cloud-based print management today?

A movement toward cloud-based print management is happening largely in organizations that have made internal decisions to eliminate IT infrastructure and help ease the pressure of IT management on their personnel by removing certain mundane tasks from their daily work. This also allows them to focus on bigger and better IT initiatives for the organization.

Other organizations are looking to support the shift to a remote workforce for the long term. Rather than spending money to change the current infrastructure to support this shift, many companies are instead shifting to a cloud-based solution.

Supporting remote printing with an on-premise solution can be done, but it could cost between 20 and 80 percent more when compared to using a cloud-based solution. The exact cost difference depends on a number of factors, including the IT structure that’s currently in place, how much printing is being done, the printer infrastructure and how many IT people are supporting their print activity.

The cloud option enables organizations to be nimbler and more productive. It allows them to save money on expensive IT infrastructure and gives end users the ability and ease of printing from any device — laptop, desktop or mobile — to any one of their printers on their network, as well as the ability to integrate with a lot of other web-based infrastructure solutions.

Who can help companies explore and implement print management solution options?

There are cost effective, affordable, cloud-based print management solutions. Organizations interested in one of them should work with a knowledgeable third-party provider to review their current printing infrastructure to determine how best to capitalize on some of the productivity and cost savings of a cloud-based print management solution.

Organizations need to make sure that the solution they choose supports their current cloud or premise-based infrastructure, and that it ties in with their other authentication or security solutions.

It’s best to work with a provider that has the experience and the wherewithal to provide an assessment of the organization and make recommendations. ●

INSIGHTS Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.

Curtis Verhoff

Advanced Solutions Manager

216.271.4800 ext. 2251

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