Spotify, Google Drive, LinkedIn, Instagram. Cloud computing is already engrained into your everyday life. And now, enhanced by the last year of remote work due to COVID-19, it’s taken over your work life too.
From servers to finances, eight out of ten businesses now expect more than half of their IT infrastructure to be cloud-based by the end of 2021, and 43% expect their entire IT infrastructure to be cloud-based. And why not? It’s quick, safe, cost-effective and efficient.
But despite such heralded benefits, many companies are still missing the critical final piece of the cloud computing puzzle: cloud printing. We’re here to explain why that’s happening, and why it shouldn’t happen to you.
What is Cloud Printing
So what exactly is cloud printing? It’s a solution that will enable any employee to print anything, anywhere, from any device (as long as they have an internet connection), without requiring different print drivers or to be connected to print servers that are specific to different printers. The most obvious benefit of this is its general mobility. It can offer the flexibility of location-independent printing, while simultaneously unburdening IT from the complexity of needing to manage a myriad of print drivers and print servers. Basically, it offers more freedom for less work.
This alone should seem enough of a driver (excuse the pun!), and certainly some research says 39% of companies have already implemented some form of cloud print management platform. Yet some are still lagging. Maybe it seems too archaic to print in a digital age, and the thought of a special printing solution seems irrelevant and is therefore forgotten. Or maybe it seems too complicated, too costly or too entangled in logistical hurdles. We know how overstretched most IT departments are, and the thought of instigating another change may seem like too much.
But we also know this is counterintuitive. Because for one, instigating cloud printing services is an easier option than you might think, and secondly, it will make your life easier than you can imagine. Here are eight reasons to make the move to the cloud.
Printing does matter. While work is predominantly done on screens now, that doesn’t mean printed documents are redundant. Far from it. From keeping essential legal and financial records in physical form, to a small business sending personal printed notes with each order or the government sending out critical documentation to citizens, to printing out relevant data for each attendee of an important meeting, there are endless reasons why employees are still using a printer for print jobs. Having the right printing system in place to support this requirement can make a world of difference.
The people running the printing matter. Technology is constantly changing, and technology teams are constantly expected to keep up. That in itself is a lot, then pile on additional data security concerns, increased demand for remote work and continuous end-user support. There is certainly no denying IT departments are overwhelmed, but cloud printing can come to your rescue. A web-based management console gives you an overview of the local network, instantly simplifying the administration of updates when there are changes to the platform (I.e., changing the properties of a printer or updating and upgrading servers each time a security patch is released).
Saving money on printing matters. With no need for investment in print servers and general print infrastructure, a cloud printing platform can reap huge savings for businesses. The benefits don’t stop with the quicker, simpler implementation either. With a subscription-based model, cloud printing can enable organizations to keep a better overview of how much print is used, and with that, better manage resources, as well as more accurately predicting print costs.
Cloud printing is safe. Research suggests 73% of organizations are concerned about print-related security breaches. But done right, printing from the cloud couldn’t be safer. With the right partner, you will have the reassurance of two data centers: one main data center and one backup data center in case of a (hopefully unlikely) disaster at your main data center.
You’ll grow better. No one knows exactly what the future holds for businesses – surely the last year of COVID-19 has reminded us of that. But with cloud printing solutions, you can flex your print resources up or down as requirements change without the need to upgrade print servers. Similarly, your contract can be flexible enough to shift in sync with your changing needs should you say, need more or less storage, new user licenses, etc.
And you’re always up to date. Printing from the cloud means automatic updates of software and servers without IT teams having to push them. Not only does this free up essential time; it also guarantees peace of mind that you will always benefit from the latest technology with no room for human error.
It’s simpler than you think. With a true cloud printing solution, companies can enjoy all of the benefits of moving to the cloud without any of the downsides. By taking your time to search for the right provider, your business can take the leap without any lost working hours or disruption to your employees. Because cloud does not require any infrastructure installation – you’re simply installing software, not hardware – the transition can be smooth, easy and hassle-free.
For your users too. Although the weight of switching print systems will obviously fall on IT teams, you can’t forget the end user, too (even if they are now working remotely). In most organizations, there are people who are resistant to technical change, and successful migration will depend on successfully getting everyone on board. Again, by choosing the right provider, you can manage a big change to your printing without any real change to the people actually doing the printing.
So now you know the manifest benefits of printing from the cloud, it’s time to take the next steps.
Konica Minolta offers Cloud Printing Service on a global scale. Customers can use printing – provided as a service without having to deal with infrastructure and software management. In addition, Konica Minolta will also offer solutions to utilize the new Universal Print from Microsoft, a modern print solution that organizations can use to manage their print infrastructure via the cloud from Microsoft through a subscription-based service. It runs entirely on Microsoft Azure and fully supports Office 365.
Konica Minolta provides multifunction printers with hybrid print solutions, unified technology of on-premise and cloud printing to add more value to Universal Print – such as print management, secure printing and print-from-anywhere including home office to make remote work efficiently. These hybrid solutions and services with Universal Print allow for a smooth digital transformation from on-premise to cloud that keeps pace with each customer’s maturity level. Konica Minolta’s bizhub i-Series MFPs support direct printing through Universal Print. Learn more about the bizhub i-Series online.
Konica Minolta is reshaping and revolutionizing the workplace to achieve true connectivity through the Intelligent Connected Workplace. The company guides and supports its clients’ digital transformation through its expansive office technology portfolio, including IT Services (All Covered), intelligent information management, managed print services and industrial and commercial print solutions.