The Managed Print Services market is expected to grow to $12.3 billion (£7.4 billion) through 2018, up from $10 billion (£6.4 billion) last year . So who says print is dead?
Achieving cost reductions used to be a main driver for deploying a print management solution. But pressure on IT to provide additional value from their existing multi-functional printer (MFP) fleet to meet changing business conditions have surfaced additional reasons for deploying a print management solution.
Today’s challenges for IT include minimising document security risks, compliance with security standards, meeting the print, scan and copy needs of mobile workers and finding ways to make employees more productive, to name a few. It is the usual ‘do more with less’ pressure. A print management solution can extract these additional values from an organisations existing networked MFP fleet.
Here are the Top 5 reasons IT needs a print management solutions.
1. Secure access to the MFP; corporate governance on document security
Do you know what is being printed, scanned and copied and by whom? By securing networked multi-function devices, you’ll have an audit trail of meta data for each user’s activity – what they printed, scanned or copied,when and where. For the user, access unlocking is as simple as a swipe of an employee ID card, PIN number or username/password entry. The organisation may choose to use any of these methods or any combination of methods. Your organisation can also choose to set up rights per user or groups of users. Perhaps only certain individuals are allowed to scan or printing can be limited to certain working hours. Sensitive and confidential documents are the lifeblood of your company and protecting them is a key step in preventing data loss.
2. Eliminate Waste
Stacks of print jobs sitting by the printer is a potential way for sensitive or confidential material getting into the wrong hands – whether it be visitors to the office or a disgruntled employee. With a print management solution in place, users send a print job to the printer as usual, but the print job doesn’t print automatically. Instead the job is held and released when the user goes to the printer and unlocks access to the printer. The user can delete jobs no longer desired; this simple change in process eliminates a lot of paper waste.
3. Reduce Costs – saving money is still important
We’ve seen how a print management solution can save money by eliminating paper waste (not to mention ink), but there are additional ways to reduce costs. An organisation can create rules for users or groups of users to enforce cost-savings. Some of the typical rules that have obvious cost savings are: turning any job from a single-side (simplex) into a double-sided (duplex) job. Or, when detecting that a print job is coming from an email message, convert the job to black and white – eliminating a costly colour ink when most emails will revert to colour because of links or signature files. Some not so obvious ways: allow colour jobs only from certain applications such as those used to create illustrations; allow colour printing if the file name indicates it is a final draft.
An administrator can also reroute jobs to printers that are more cost efficient. The user can be notified if the job is modified with a pop-up dialogue on the desktop. In this way, the user is informed of the costs between his original request and the suggested or enforced change. Users are apt to modify behaviour when informed of the benefit.
4. Increase Productivity – scanning tools for digitising workflows
IT can make positive contributions to organisations seeking to do more with less. Companies looking to digitise document workflows to increase productivity and use the scan management features of a print management solution. Simple one-click scanning can send documents to email, a pre-defined folder or use scripts to integrate with third party solutions such as ERP systems or other accounting/finance applications. Scanning workflows can be customised and seamless integrated with existing business processes and corporate governance.
Print management is just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible to improve business efficiencies. For IT, facilities and finance, the bonus is that this is being accomplished with devices they already have in place. As a service provider, you are giving them more value for their existing investment.
5. Support BYOD
A recent study by Citrix shows that the use of mobile devices in business enterprises is dramatically increasing, with device enrollment worldwide up 72 per cent from 2013.
IT has concerns and questions: How do we maintain security? How do we make sure our IT staff workload is not increased, while supporting the obvious advantages of employee owned devices? How easy and convenient can we support these mobile workers or guests to our offices such as customers, partners?
IT teams are key players who can push and leverage new technologies to help their companies to run smarter. With a print management solution, printing from laptops is achieved through a one-time configuration. Printing from smartphones and tablets, users can send the print job via email or by uploading to a website. The dedicated email address or webpage eliminates the need for print drivers. In a similar way, guest printing can be allowed by use of temporary accounts and temporary access to print devices – eliminating an employee having to print on the guest’s behalf or a call to IT for assistance.
These are just a few of the many reasons organisations are implementing a print management solution as part of Managed Print Services.
Martin deMartini is Senior Vice President and co-founder at Y Soft