Dave McNally, product marketing director of Dell Imaging, EMEA, outlines the business benefits of today’s cloud printing solutions
As working practices evolve, the underlying factor that will continue to connect employees and business partners will be the ability to access the same information on a shared network. Cloud technology marks the transfer from physically owning the storage hardware for your digital data to storing that data on the internet. Wherever you take an internet-enabled device, you are now able to access all of your data, as well as your office device functions, including the ability to print.
Printers boast a range of capabilities, from scanning and copying to printing and stapling. With the use of cloud technology, you can now perform these processes without needing physically to be in the office. Imagine being able to print documents from a hotel, an airport or a train for your colleagues to pick up in the office. Cloud printing virtually eliminates the limitations and day-to-day complexities of printing, and it all comes without the need to install software.
The benefits of cloud printing:
Bypasses compatibility problems. Your office might have different operating systems, computers, tablets and phones all connected to your server. It can be a challenge to configure all devices to all printers with the correct permissions and access. However, printing via the internet virtually removes the issue of compatibility, and can save you valuable time in your daily office tasks. This also helps to future-proof your printer. Without compatibility issues, the constant stream of new technologies and the growing tendency to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) will no longer render your expensive office printers useless or inaccessible. Many IT departments welcome cloud printing services as it allows them to free up their valuable, highly-skilled time trying to connect devices to printers and set various levels of permissions.
Saves money, time and resources. Thanks to cloud-printing, you don’t need to pre-empt needing a hard-copy of a document by printing it right away. It offers you the security of a reliable printing system which you can access from any device connected to the internet, giving you the freedom to print only when needed.
Sends scanned documents straight to email. Not only can you access your printer from the internet, but your printer can access the functions of the internet too. This is a dream come true for small task delegation. Gone are the days of scanning incongruities, compatibility issues, making sure it saves your document in the correct place and having to remember the name of the file so that you can find it afterwards. With cloud printing comes cloud scanning, which allows you to either save the document on your server or send the copy directly to any email, boosting business efficiency and worker productivity.
Shares printer access. Whether you’re in urgent need of a printer while out of the office or have a visitor who requires access to your printer, printing on the go is still a major headache for people all around the world. Yet, it shouldn’t be. Cloud printing services allow you to share access when and where it is needed, and discontinue accessibility at any stage. Cloud printing is a convenient, flexible and secure contemporary solution, bringing simplicity to the running of a modern business.
Don’t forget security:
Know your provider.When using cloud services, you are allowing a trusted intermediary to store your data on their server, which is online and accessible to anyone with authorisation. It may be a frightening thought for some – putting your important information in the hands of someone over the internet – and this is a legitimate concern. It’s important to know who you’re trusting, so take time to research solution providers to ensure you connect with one that meets your needs.
Stay secure and keep your data safe.Internet-capable printers can pose a security risk. With poor password security, there is the possibility that a third party could gain access to a document left accidentally on a scanner. It is important always to apply the same security procedure for every web-connected device in your business. Integrating complex passwords and changing them regularly will save you from avoidable security breaches. Long-term, hackers continue to pose a serious threat to businesses and securing sensitive data should be one of the most important aspects of your overall IT strategy.
With this in mind, the benefits offered by cloud printing are too great to ignore, and early adopters of this technology are usually the ones who benefit the most. Consider it as insurance for your printer’s longevity and your business needs. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will make life easier for your IT team, your employees and your clients.