The following is a guest post from David Jenkins, CEO at directprint.io, a founding member of the Digital Workspace Ecosystem Alliance (DWEA).
The global pandemic has been a clear catalyst for cloud migration. Faced with weathering the storm of ensuring business continuity and enabling a remote workforce to conduct business as usual, forward-thinking organizations advanced their digital transformation agendas and pressed fast-forward on their cloud-first strategies. In 2021, organizations worldwide were using an average amount of 110 SaaS applications, compared with just eight in 2015.
By moving core applications, workloads and storage to the cloud, businesses benefit from agility, scalability and flexibility. Printing remains one of the last areas to be considered when modernizing IT, however if organizations are to truly deliver on their digital workspace strategies, this business-critical function needs to be pushed higher up the cloud-first agenda.
Close the tech skills gap
With around three-quarters of IT decision-makers worldwide facing critical skills gaps across tech departments – reducing the pressure on this shrinking resource is front and centre.
It’s been well-documented that managing an on-premise print infrastructure can be expensive, time-consuming and complicated, and whilst IT teams are spending valuable time fixing print-related issues, it’s stopping them from pressing ahead with strategic, higher-value IT tasks.
Migrating print management to the cloud can free up valuable resources. IT admins can seamlessly manage and automate time-intensive tasks such as device deployment and driver updates; configure default settings; apply print policies; enable secure print to protect sensitive documents; monitor print queues, control access and add users - all from a central point.
With a cloud-based solution IT leads don’t have to waste time juggling high availability or load balancing to lessen the burden of heavy print data traffic on the network; finding a workaround when offline printing isn’t possible due to network failures; or managing a constant stream of security updates to fix vulnerabilities, for example.
Reduce the attack surface
As security has come under the microscope in recent times, it’s really important not to overlook the fact that the office printer remains a viable attack vector for hackers looking to capitalize on vulnerable devices. Printers and MFPs are endpoints like any other and have the potential to be compromised by bad actors. The risk of data losses due to unsecure printing practices is one that cannot be ignored.
SaaS print management can reduce the attack surface. ISVs in the cloud space have long placed a high priority on security and developers continue to focus on features that keep end-users secure such as enabling existing single sign-on, login and authentication polices to be connected to the software. Plus, by managing the print infrastructure in the cloud, users benefit from automated patching and monitoring, safe in the knowledge it’s always up to date and secure.
Another value-add in today’s hybrid working environment is providing the ability for people to securely print wherever they are, and from multiple devices. Cloud printing platforms provide end-users with access to fast and reliable printing from any device or location.
Modernizing the printing infrastructure will be key to helping businesses navigate fresh challenges in the new normal. By migrating to a serverless print infrastructure that’s delivered as-a-service, organizations will benefit from a more efficient, secure and cost-effective print environment that better supports the evolving hybrid workplace and reduces the load on IT, and one which also positively impacts the bottom line.