From On-Premises Print Infrastructure to the Cloud: What to Expect

Traditional, on-premises print infrastructure has always been somewhat cumbersome and time-consuming to maintain, and recent technological developments have further underscored the need for a more convenient and reliable solution. Both digital transformation and the need for more secure platforms have driven companies to transition printing to the cloud. But after you decide to make the shift, what should you expect? 

Read on to learn what you can expect as you move from an on-prem print infrastructure to the cloud. 

What to Expect When Moving Print to the Cloud 

When moving print management to the cloud, you can expect considerable benefits stemming from: 

  • Eliminating print infrastructure
  • Gaining visibility into your entire print environment
  • Driving IT productivity
  • Supporting remote and hybrid users
  • Enhancing security

Elimination of Print Infrastructure and Fast Deployment 

One of the biggest changes involved when transitioning from on-premises to the cloud is the elimination of print servers. With a traditional print server, you shoulder the costs of hardware and software, as well as the resources required to support their maintenance and operation. Servers come with costs and management issues and are time-consuming for IT to maintain and update. With a cloud-based platform, you eliminate the upfront costs and time spent maintaining and upgrading them. In addition, because there’s less reliance on on-premises hardware, deploying cloud solutions is generally faster. 

Visibility Into Your Entire Print Environment 

A cloud-based platform enables you to easily centralize print operations. When print is decentralized, you don’t have visibility or insight into all the printing that’s occurring across the enterprise. This means you have no idea of the true print costs, what devices are under- or overutilized, who the individual and department outliers are in terms of costs, or what’s the best way to maintain an efficient fleet. With a cloud print management solution, you can easily and quickly discover print devices and gain visibility across your organization to gain the actionable intelligence needed to maintain an efficient fleet and reduce printing costs. 

For example, you could leverage the print data you collect to: 

  • Gain instant insight into high-level key print metrics and track to custom targets for your entire organization
  • Spend less time recording meter reads and more time focusing on preventative action
  • Monitor device volumes and utilization trends to recognize changes in your print environment
  • Explore top cost outliers (users, departments, and applications) to identify opportunities to automate workflows or reduce unnecessary expenses

Increased IT Productivity 

Well-designed cloud platforms not only eliminate print infrastructure, they’re also designed to be intuitive and easy-to-use—reducing the burden on your already strained IT staff. Cloud-based platforms enable administrators to manage their entire print operations from a web browser to easily secure printers, create and manage print policies, monitor fleet status, and view comprehensive analytics. 

In addition, well-designed systems eliminate the time-consuming hassle of vendor driver management with a “universal” print driver. With only a single package that supports thousands of printer models across all manufacturers—from low-volume printers to high-volume, multifunction devices, these systems require only a fraction of the administrative overhead of traditional driver management, simplify printing for employees with a common user interface, and reduce troubleshooting vectors for Help Desk staff.   

Support Remote and Hybrid Users  

The global pandemic changed the way people work. Migrating print to the cloud allows organizations to better support their increasingly mobile and remote workforce. A well-designed cloud platform will allow organizations to support remote employees with the ability to print—while providing visibility and control over their employee’s at-home printing—and support their hybrid workforce with the ability to submit print jobs from any network (even their mobile devices) and print them at any secured printer on the company network. 

Enhanced Security 

The increasingly remote workforce and the recent PrintNightmare vulnerabilities have highlighted the importance of including print as part of an organization’s overall security strategy. Well-designed cloud platforms are designed with a relentless focus on security and don’t rely on common attack vectors including print servers and insecure protocols (RAW and LPR printing), protect data with end-to-end encryption, improve document security with secure release workflows, and support zero trust security principles. 

Reduced Printing Costs 

Migrating your print infrastructure to the cloud enables your organization to considerably save on costs. For example, you can conserve funds by: 

  • Eliminating costly print servers: Print servers also come with soft costs such as time spent managing hardware and software, electricity costs, data security costs, and physical storage costs.
  • Eliminating the need to buy new printers: Well-designed cloud solutions support multi-vendor print fleets, so you can leverage your existing print fleet. Even if you change printer manufacturers, you don’t need to switch print management platforms.
  • Leveraging print analytics: Using comprehensive analytics, you can discover ways to identify under/overutilized printers to drive efficiency in your printer fleet, and view job-level details to discover cost outliers and opportunities for workflow automation.
  • Creating and enforcing print policies: Well-designed cloud platforms will enable administrators to create and enforce company print policies (i.e. restrict color printing or local printing) and educate users of mindful printing habits (i.e. notification that suggests printing 2-sided or notifying if the document exceeds X pages) at the point of print submission to reduce printing costs.

Elevating Your Print Management Experience with Pharos 

Since 1992, Pharos has been on the cutting edge of software development, providing a secure, cloud print management platform for companies in various industries. Pharos Cloud is the proven cloud print management solution for large enterprises, helping organizations to eliminate print servers, drive IT productivity, reduce printing costs, and provide users with a consistent, seamless experience to their multi-vendor print fleet. 

Pharos’ portfolio of customers includes some of the largest organizations and higher-education institutions in the world. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of switching from on-premises to cloud printing, get a personalized demo of Pharos Cloud today. 

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