With cloud computing becoming such a crucial part of modern business, it’s no surprise that cloud services have expanded to incorporate printing. Thanks to cloud printing, users can print documents from any internet-connected device and any location. For example, off-site personnel could use a tablet to print a document to their main office, so in-office personnel can process it quickly.
Cloud printing connects printing stations to a range of devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It eliminates the pesky cables that have forced physical connections between devices and printers for so many years.
Beyond these basic advantages, there are several more reasons to leverage cloud printing in your business. This article examines three of those reasons.
Reason No. 1 – Enhanced Security in Cloud Computing
Security is a key concern in cloud computing. That’s particularly the case with printing because leveraging the cloud means you no longer install device drivers that are unique to the printer you’re using. While this lack of driver maintenance improves workflow and saves companies money, it does raise some security concerns for those who haven’t used cloud printing before. Thankfully, those concerns are easily resolved with the enhanced security features that printing via the cloud offers.
Many cloud printing services use encryption to protect the data contained in documents printed over the cloud. This encryption is applied to outgoing documents, with the key for decrypting the document being on the device end. Usually, this encryption is applied using a third-party application. Encryption ensures that anybody who manages to intercept a document printed over the cloud isn’t able to decipher the information the document contains.
Virtual Private Networks
Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow companies to shield their IP addresses by creating point-to-point internet connections that serve as encrypted tunnels for data. In cloud-based printing, this serves as an extra layer of encryption beyond any you may use from a third-party supplier.
With a VPN, organizations create a secure loop that ensures their documents are never exposed to the public internet. There’s less chance of a hacker intercepting the document, as the private nature of VPN connections means that malicious parties aren’t even aware of the document’s existence. Using a VPN alongside a cloud printing solution ensures data privacy, so any documents sent to the printer remain confidential.
In-House Private Cloud
Many people assume that using services over the cloud means they expose their data to the public. That doesn’t have to be the case. Beyond encryption, implementing a private cloud ensures that anything you print stays within a network that’s dedicated to your business.
Granted, private clouds require a higher budget and the IT resources required to set one up. But if your company has one, it’s able to host any data transmitted behind a firewall that prevents intrusion by hackers. While an in-house private cloud isn’t required to use cloud printing services, having the option adds another layer of security.
Secure Pull Printing
Corporate espionage involves the theft of private information from a company by somebody who works within the organization. With printing, this theft could be as simple as a malicious party stealing a document that somebody else has printed before the original user can reach the document.
Secure pull printing is a cloud printing security feature that solves this problem. The person printing the document chooses when to release it from the printer by entering a password or using some form of unique identification to approve printing. When using the cloud, this could mean an individual sets something to print when they’re out of the office, but only approves the print once they come back. The result is that documents no longer end up in the wrong hands, because the person printing the documents has full control.
Reason No. 2 – Cloud Printing Usage Tracking
Managed cloud print services allow companies to track usage throughout the organization. This enhanced visibility allows company leaders to examine printer usage so they can discover hidden costs.
For example, an employee may be guilty of mistakenly printing large documents when they only need to print a portion of the document. This is a surprisingly common problem. As far back as 2009, a major printing manufacturer helped to create a report that examined government printing habits. It found that the Federal Government wasted about $440 million per year on excess printer usage. While the scale of the problem may not be as significant in your organization, it’s clear that printing mismanagement is a key concern.
With usage tracking, you can determine if this is a recurring issue that requires further training for employees. By catching these problems, organizations save significant amounts of money on wasted paper, toner, and other consumables.
A well-managed cloud print service uses third-party software to ensure business leaders always have access to the statistics they need to see.
Reason No. 3 – FollowMe Printing
Building from the above, FollowMe printing is a document output management solution that can be incorporated into a managed cloud printing service. The service allows users to join a shared printing queue, roam while printing, and release their print job at any device enabled on the service. This is ideal for organizations with multiple printers, as it allows the user to select which printer to use, thus reducing the possibility of waste. FollowMe also enables users to print to another device if their main printer malfunctions.
The solution offers end-to-end security that encrypts and protects the data in printed documents. It also centralizes control of an organization’s print fleet, making usage tracking more efficient.
Unleash the Power of Cloud Printing
Thanks to improved usage management and exceptional security measures, cloud printing keeps your documents secure and allows you to manage printing costs. Combining cloud-enabled devices with a dedicated print management service helps organizations reduce printing waste, saving them money in the process.
At Docutrend, we offer managed cloud printing services and the devices required to use those services in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. If you’d like to learn how we can help you unleash the power of the cloud in your organization, get in touch with our team for a free assessment.