8 Benefits of Cloud Print Infrastructure

Print management typically consumes vast amounts of energy from network administrators and the users who print. But by moving your print infrastructure to the cloud, you can greatly reduce the work needed to support your organization’s printing processes.

Benefits of a Cloud Print Infrastructure

Like so many other applications, a cloud-based platform offers many advantages compared to on-premises solutions, including:

  • Increased reliability – redundant servers and proactive maintenance by the cloud provider (like AWS) create more reliability compared to on-prem solutions.
  • Cost savings – less hardware and infrastructure costs from day 1
  • Reduced IT burden – printing in the cloud removes and simplifies several processes for IT teams
  • Flexibility and scalability – with cloud print infrastructure, you can easily scale up or down as your business needs change, without having to worry about physical hardware limitations.
  • Improved productivity – less hardware to manage, automatic updates, and improved scalability allows IT teams to be more productive
  • Easy access to new functionality that can be quickly implemented across your organization or for a limited segment of users
  • Support for virtual computing environments
  • Secure workflows that can be either on-premises or in the cloud – enhanced security measures, such as data encryption and backup, are seamless to implement via cloud software

While these benefits alone have been compelling enough to motivate many to switch to a cloud printing infrastructure, there are others that can have an equally significant impact on the workflows of your organization.

Using a Well-Designed Cloud Print Management Platform

Some of the unexpected benefits of cloud print management software include:

  • The ability to drive productivity by eliminating vendor driver management
  • Enhanced security
  • A more intuitive and consistent user experience
  • Reduced costs through enforcement of printing policies
  • Convenient remote workforce support
  • Actionable insights through robust reporting and analytics
  • Easier adherence to local data privacy and sovereignty requirements

Drive Productivity by Eliminating Vendor Driver Management

Managing the many print drivers from a range of vendors is a common time sink for administrators. Updating print drivers and troubleshooting driver issues requires a significant investment of human resources. Also, employees often need help right away, particularly when there’s a pressing printing issue.

With a universal print driver, you have one driver that’s compatible with a range of printers—in turn, you reduce the time spent updating drivers, addressing vendor driver issues, and handling patches vendors release to address functionality or security issues.

Enhance Cybersecurity

A traditional print server environment can expose your organization to significant security risks, such as malware spreading throughout your network via your print server system. While this may happen because a hacker specifically orchestrated an insider attack, employees can accidentally create vulnerabilities, allowing an attacker to infiltrate the network.

However, with a cloud print management platform, you eliminate the need for an on-premises print server. While no system is without risks, closing the door on hackers seeking to exploit a legacy print server significantly improves your cybersecurity posture. For example, some print servers can be accessed via the internet, enabling hackers to alter settings.

In addition, you can reduce the chances of sensitive documents getting left at the printer where unauthorized people can see them. With pull printing, the job gets sent from a device but is only printed after someone presents credentials at the printer.

With the cloud, you also get end-to-end data encryption. With this feature, even if a hacker successfully intercepts your information, they wouldn’t be able to decipher it without the digital key to decode data.

Reduce IT Burden

A cloud print management solution reduces the amount of work your IT team has to do by centralizing a range of operations and workflows. Your IT department gets a single console to gain visibility into your entire print infrastructure. Also, because the system is web-based, your team can access your dashboard no matter where they are, as long as they have an internet connection.

The right cloud print management solution is intuitive and simple to use. Because it provides a logical, efficient digital workspace for authorized users, it’s easier for your IT team to move from one issue to the next. This cuts down on the amount of time and mental bandwidth they have to expend on a daily basis.

For example, on a single screen, your IT team can get a snapshot of the printers in use, the kind of printing being done, the devices that need their attention, current usage statistics, and the percentage of secured versus unsecured devices. This information can be used to troubleshoot issues and predict potential problems that may arise down the road.

Intuitive and Consistent User Experience Across Platforms

Switching from one interface to another can get confusing, but with a cloud print management system, you can enjoy a consistent experience across various platforms, whether you’re using Mac, Windows, or Linux.

In addition, because you don’t have to identify different drivers based on the operating system, you can implement solutions in less time. Also, for administrators, there’s no need to adjust your troubleshooting procedures as you go from one platform to another.

Lower Costs Through Enforced Printing Policies

With a cloud print management solution, you get granular control over a number of printer settings. For example, you can make it necessary that everyone prints on both sides of the paper, effectively cutting your paper expenses by as much as half. If some teams need to occasionally print on one side, changing the settings takes a matter of moments.

Also, you can dictate who, if anyone, is allowed to print in color. This can save significant money on expensive color toner. You also get the flexibility needed to adjust policies based on different office locations, allowing you to more easily optimize your print budget across the enterprise.

Support Your Remote Workforce

It’s quick and easy to add remote workers to your print infrastructure if you have a cloud print management system. Instead of manually connecting to an on-premises print server, remote employees can log in and connect through the cloud solution. It’s also easier to meet the needs of your remote workforce. Additionally, a cloud-based system empowers IT to configure the most effective print settings for remote teams based on their workflows, saving time, preventing frustration, and boosting operational efficiency.

Gain Actionable Insights Through Robust Reporting and Analytics

The reporting and analytics features of a cloud print management system give you a distinct edge when it comes to monitoring performance as well as cost. The centralized dashboard lets you see, at a glance, the metrics that can help you address potential problems as well as fine-tune your overall print environment.

For example, with Pharos Insights’ central dashboard, you can see your print operating costs, the number of pages printed, your environmental impact based on paper use, the number of users, device manufacturers, and different models. You can also see metrics regarding the number of color prints and single-sided versus double-sided volume. If certain employees are printing more than normal, these can be designated as outliers and the system can flag their activity.

You can also see graphs representing overall usage over time. Using this data, you can correlate printing activity with other business functions and discover both trends and opportunities to further optimize print performance.

Adhere to Local Data Privacy and Sovereignty Requirements

Data privacy laws have become more and more stringent in recent years, and while some industries are more directly impacted than others, virtually all companies have to be careful regarding which eyes see which documents. In addition, organizations may have internal data privacy protocols or concerns.

A cloud print management system that supports global data privacy and sovereignty policies makes it easy to manage either external or internal data security rules. This is because you don’t have to set up a separate cloud instance to meet data privacy or sovereignty requirements. In this way, it’s easier to conform to the regulations in your area, as well as adjust them as necessary.

Maximizing Cloud Print Advantages With Pharos

With Pharos Cloud, you get a bevy of features that make it easy to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud print management. Pharos provides you with cloud print analytics, interactive dashboards, touchless printing, end-to-end encryption, and the freedom to submit prints from anywhere. In addition, you get automatic updates, web-based administration, and end-to-end encryption to enhance security.

To see how Pharos Cloud can elevate your organization’s print management experience, request a personalized demo today.

Print Monitoring Software Overview

Print monitoring software is a type of software tool used by IT teams and finance departments to better understand the financial and technological impact of their print environment.

Organizations use printer tracking software to monitor and manage printing activity on a network. The software typically is configured to monitor several printers on the network, and with an cloud print management solution like Pharos Cloud, can deployed to the entire print fleet in about an hour.

The analytics from print management software can provide detailed information about print jobs, including the user who printed the document, the document name, the number of pages printed, and the time the print job was sent. This information can be used to track and manage printing costs, as well as to identify patterns of excessive printing.

This type of software is often used by businesses to reduce print costs and ensure their print environment is set up for maximum efficiency.

How is Print Monitoring Software Used?

You should align your software purchases with your core business objectives and technology requirements.  Print tracking software can help IT teams and Finance departments make more informed decisions around investments into print infrastructure.

Learn more about a Print Audit with Pharos Insights.

Here are a few ways print monitoring software is used by enterprises:

  • Track and manage printing costs: By monitoring print activity, IT teams can identify patterns of excessive printing and take steps to reduce printing costs. For example, they can set limits on the number of pages that can be printed by each user, or implement duplex printing by default.
  • Improve printer security: Print tracking software can help IT teams detect and prevent unauthorized access to network printers. For example, the software can be configured to notify the IT team if a user attempts to print a document from a device that is not on the network.
  • Monitor printer usage and maintenance: It can also help IT teams track the usage and maintenance of network printers. For example, the software can alert IT teams when a printer is low on toner or paper, or when a printer is experiencing a hardware failure.
  • Allocate printing costs: Print monitoring software can be used to allocate printing costs to different departments or projects. This can help finance departments understand how printing costs are distributed across the organization, and make decisions about how to allocate resources.
  • Bill printing costs: Print monitoring software can also provide the data required for billing or chargeback system that allows organizations to bill departments or clients for the cost of their printing.

With the data collected by print monitoring software, finance departments can make more informed decisions about how to manage printing costs and allocate resources. It also will give them a better understanding about the printing trends of the organization and where adjustments can be made for cost savings.

What Kind of Print Data Does Print Tracking Software Measure?

The list is long and may vary based on which software you are using, and how your print fleet is set up (e.g. printer manufacturers, type and number of devices, centralized/decentralized environment, and more).

A comprehensive print analytics platform like Pharos Insights should allow you to view key metrics both at 1) the device level, and 2) at the fleet level, at a glance.

Here are a few examples:

Number of pages printed: This metric tracks the total number of pages that are printed on a particular printer or group of printers.

Amount of ink or toner used: This metric tracks the amount of ink or toner that is used for printing.

Cost per print job: This metric calculates the cost of each print job based on the number of pages printed and the cost of the ink or toner used.

Printer utilization: This metric tracks how often a printer is being used, allowing businesses to identify patterns of usage and optimize their printing processes.

Print quality: Some print tracking software includes features that can measure the quality of printed documents, such as the resolution of the print or the color accuracy.

Environmental impact: Some print tracking software includes metrics that measure the environmental impact of printing, such as the amount of paper and ink used.

Security: Some print tracking software includes security features that can track and monitor access to printers and printed documents.

Some Obvious (and non-obvious) Benefits of Print Tracking Software

Cost savings

Most of all, print tracking software can help businesses reduce the cost of printing by tracking and analyzing printing activities. This can help businesses identify patterns of wasteful printing and take steps to reduce their overall printing costs.

Increased efficiency

Print tracking software will also help you improve efficiency across teams.  For IT teams, the ability to view the entire print environment behind a single pane of glass creates ample opportunity to streamline processes and reduce the time spent managing print.  For Finance departments, what were once time-consuming, individual reports run by device, location, or another variable (if such reports were even being run in the first place), can now be conducted in a few clicks, and automated to save time, and improve visibility into costs.

Enhanced security

Some print monitoring software includes security features that can help businesses protect their sensitive documents from unauthorized access or printing. A fleet management system can also help you determine if printers are not secured, or if there are issues within the network.

Improved compliance

Print monitoring software can help businesses stay compliant with regulations and industry standards by tracking and documenting their printing activities.

Better environmental impact

Arguable the most important, monitoring your print activity allows you to reduce your environmental impact.  Some programs, like Pharos Insights, have dedicated reports on sustainability and include data points such as energy usage, paper consumption, water usage, and more.

A Better Path Forward

With the right technology in place to monitor your organization’s printing, the analytics and reports will help to reveal the best path forward. You will be able to clarify which print workflows are actually required and which printing behaviors are based on mere habit or preference. You can start at the management level to lead by example and demonstrate to all employees that your new standards are important and apply to everyone.

As leaders in your organization, ask yourselves the following questions:

• Do we have a print strategy in place to include all output (convenience print, copying, and faxing)?
• Do we have technology in place that enables us to monitor, report, and analyze printing down to the employee, application, and department level?
• How do I know whether I am truly maximizing my technology investments?
• Are key performance measures and targets established and understood?
• Are we solving the biggest problem we can?

Focusing only on pricing and contracts leaves a huge savings opportunity on the table. If you go after the demand side of print and strategically explore your organization’s printing habits and workflows, you’ll soon see how much more you can achieve toward your information security and cost reduction goals.

Additional Resources

Is Pharos Insights secure?

Pharos Cloud only collects job metadata approved by the administrator, and all data is encrypted. In addition, Pharos Cloud’s licensable Data Privacy and Regional Document Storage capability helps global organizations adhere to local data privacy and data sovereignty requirements by providing 21 different global regions where Administrators can control 1) what print job information is collected for reporting purposes and 2) where Secure Release print jobs are stored in the cloud at rest.

Cloud Printing for Enterprise

Cloud print management has transformed the way we handle corporate printing environments. Cloud print management is a way of managing and controlling a corporate print environment from a cloud-based application, like Pharos Cloud.

Cloud printing enables your employees to print from (nearly) any connected device by sending print jobs to a network printer via the cloud.

It allows users to quickly discover printers and print from their own device without the need to set up driver installations.

Cloud printing software solutions eliminate the need for printer drivers and allows the printer or multi-function device to receive print jobs through an internet connection.

Additionally, cloud print management typically offers more advanced features and capabilities than traditional printing, such as the ability to track and monitor print jobs and control access to printers.

I remember the days when I had to install drivers on my computer just to get a printer to work, and those days are long gone, thanks to cloud printing software solutions. They’ve simplified how I manage printer drivers and made it possible for printers and multi-function devices to receive print jobs through an internet connection.

cloud printing with pharos

How is this different than traditional printing?

In contrast, traditional printing typically involves setting up and configuring local printers that are directly connected to a computer or network. This can be complex and time-consuming, and it can limit the ability of users to print from different devices or locations.

Cloud print management truly lightens the load on your organization’s IT teams. They no longer have to worry about security, infrastructure, maintenance, and upgrades, as cloud services take care of those burdens.

Cloud Hosted vs. True Cloud Print Management

Cloud hosted and true cloud print management are two different approaches to managing and controlling printing from cloud-based applications and services.

Cloud hosted print management refers to a print environment in which the print management software is hosted on a remote server and accessed via the cloud. This can provide some of the benefits of cloud print management, such as the ability to access and print from anywhere, and the ability to manage user access to printers. However, cloud hosted print management may not offer all of the features and capabilities of true cloud print management.

In contrast, true cloud print management refers to a system in which all aspects of the print management process, including the software, printers, and user access, are managed and controlled entirely via the cloud. This can provide a more comprehensive and seamless experience, with advanced features and capabilities, such as the ability to monitor and track print jobs, and control access to printers. True cloud print management can also offer greater flexibility and scalability than cloud hosted print management, making it easier to adapt to changing business needs.

True cloud print management means your organization is leveraging cloud services to take on the security, infrastructure, maintenance, and upgrade burdens that your internal staff would otherwise need to manage.

When your printing operations are leveraging the benefits of the SaaS business model, your IT teams have a lot less to worry about.

How IT Teams Leverage Cloud Printing

With cloud print management, you can easily tackle a variety of initiatives, including:

  1. Set up and configure cloud-based printers: You can easily set up and configure network printers, without the need for complex setup or configuration.
  2. Manage user access to printers: You can use cloud print management to control which users have access to which printers, and to set permissions for different users and groups.
  3. Monitor and track print jobs: Print tracking software can provide detailed information about print jobs, including the date and time of the print, the user who initiated the print, and the status of the print job.
  4. Control access to printers: You can use cloud print management to set up authentication and authorization controls to ensure that only authorized users can access and print from network printers.
  5. Save on printing costs: You can reduce the costs associated with printing, such as the need to purchase and maintain expensive printer servers and related equipment. Additionally, cloud-based printing can help reduce paper waste and save on the costs of consumables, such as toner and ink.
  6. Improve productivity and collaboration: You can enable your employees to print from any device, anywhere, which can help improve their productivity and make it easier for teams to collaborate and work together, even when they are not in the same location.

Is Cloud Based Print Management Difficult to Implement?

The difficulty of implementing cloud based print management can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size and complexity of the organization, the number of users and printers, and the specific requirements and needs of the organization.

In general, however, cloud based print management can be relatively easy to implement, especially compared to traditional print management systems.

This is because cloud printing typically involves minimal setup and configuration, and can be accessed and managed from any device with an internet connection.

Additionally, cloud print management software support teams will offer support and assistance to help organizations with the implementation process. As a result, while there may be some challenges and complexities involved in implementing cloud based print management, it is generally considered to be a relatively straightforward and easy-to-use solution.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Print Management?

Cloud print management software is used by a wide variety of companies and organizations, large enterprises, educational institutions, and government agencies. Any company or organization that has a need to manage and control their printing environment can benefit from using cloud print management software.

Some common use cases for cloud print management software include:

  • Companies with a distributed workforce that need to manage printers at multiple locations
  • Organizations with a high volume of print jobs that need to optimize their print infrastructure
  • Educational institutions that need to manage student printing
  • Government agencies that need to secure and control access to sensitive documents

Overall, print management software can be useful for any company or organization that wants to improve the efficiency, security, and scalability of their printing environment.

Improved efficiency

Cloud print management software allows users to access and manage their printers from anywhere, using any device with an internet connection. This can save time and improve productivity, as users don’t have to be physically present at the printer to initiate a print job or troubleshoot issues.

Centralized management: Cloud print management software provides a single, centralized platform for managing all of an organization’s printers. This can make it easier for IT staff to monitor and manage the print environment, as they don’t have to access multiple systems or devices to perform tasks.

Automatic updates and maintenance: With cloud print management software, updates and maintenance are typically handled automatically by the provider. This can save IT staff time and effort, as they don’t have to manually install updates or perform maintenance tasks on individual printers.

Improved troubleshooting: You can get real-time visibility into the status and performance of printers, making it easier for IT staff to identify and troubleshoot issues as they arise.

By providing centralized management, automatic updates and maintenance, improved troubleshooting, and enhanced security, cloud print management software can help to remove IT burden and improve efficiency for IT staff.

Enhanced security

Cloud print management software can help to secure print environments by providing features such as user authentication and access control. This can help to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive documents and protect against data breaches.

User authentication: Cloud print management software often includes user authentication features, like Secure Release printing, which require users to enter their credentials before they can access the system or initiate a print job. This can help to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive documents and protect against data breaches.

Access control: It can also provide access control features, which allow administrators to set permissions and control which users have access to specific printers or print jobs. This can help to prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of data breaches.

Encryption: Many print management providers offer encryption of data in transit and at rest, to protect sensitive information from being intercepted or accessed by unauthorized parties.

Activity logs: Cloud print management software often includes activity logs that record details about print jobs and user activity. This can help administrators to monitor for unusual activity and identify potential security threats.

By providing user authentication, access control, encryption, and activity logs, cloud print management software can help to improve cybersecurity and reduce network risks for large organizations.

Greater scalability

With cloud print management software, it is easy to add and remove printers as needed, without the need to purchase additional hardware or software. This can save money and make it easier to scale print infrastructure as the needs of the organization change.

Flexible infrastructure: With cloud print management software, it is easy to add and remove printers as needed, without the need to purchase additional hardware or software. This can save money and make it easier to scale the print infrastructure as the needs of the organization change.

Remote management: Cloud-based print management software allows administrators to manage printers remotely, using any device with an internet connection. This can make it easier to manage a distributed print environment, as administrators don’t have to be physically present at each location to perform tasks.

Automatic updates and maintenance: This software will typically handle updates and maintenance automatically, which can save time and effort for IT staff. This can be especially useful for enterprises with a large number of printers, as manual updates and maintenance can be time-consuming.

By providing flexible infrastructure, remote management, and automatic updates and maintenance, cloud print management software can help enterprises to scale their print environments efficiently and cost-effectively.

Why Cloud Print Management is Better for Large Organizations

Cloud print management is particularly well-suited for businesses with thousands of employees and distributed workforces because it can help improve efficiency and productivity, and enable the organization to grow and adapt to changing business needs. Some of the reasons why cloud print management is best for large businesses include:

  1. Increased flexibility and scalability: It offers a high degree of flexibility and scalability, which means that large businesses can easily add or remove printers and users as needed, without the need for complex setup or configuration. This makes it easy to adapt to changing business needs and grow the organization.
  2. Improved productivity: With cloud print management, large businesses can enable their employees to print from any device, anywhere, which can help improve their productivity and enable them to work more efficiently.
  3. Enhanced security: Cloud print management typically offers advanced security features, such as the ability to control access to printers and monitor print jobs, which can help protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access to printers. This is particularly important for large businesses, which may have more sensitive information and a larger number of users and printers.
  4. Cost savings: In large organizations, printing costs can balloon out of control if left unmanaged – cloud printing allows you to not only monitor and set policies for printing, it also helps reduce costs by eliminating the need for print servers, reducing the IT burden, and helping you maximize the utilization of your print fleet.

Overall, cloud print management can provide a range of benefits for large businesses, making it an attractive option for organizations that need to manage and control printing from cloud-based applications and services.

Prepare Your Printing Operations for the Future

Just as we’ve seen with the proliferation of software applications over the past decade, cloud printing is likely to involve continued growth and development of cloud-based technologies and services.

As more and more businesses and organizations adopt cloud-based applications and services, the demand for cloud printing is likely to increase. This could lead to the development of new and more advanced cloud printing technologies, such as more secure and reliable cloud-based printers, and improved print management and control features.

Additionally, the increasing popularity of mobile devices and the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) are likely to drive the adoption of cloud printing, as more and more users look for ways to print from a variety of devices and locations.

Overall, the future of cloud printing is likely to be characterized by continued innovation and growth, as businesses and organizations seek to improve their productivity and efficiency through the use of cloud-based technologies.

Read more about planning to migrate your print infrastructure to the cloud.

Reducing your organization’s expenses and IT workload has always been an important reason to leverage the SaaS model for your printing operations. Today, the number one concern of the IT pros is the need to provide safe and flexible printing options for employees while also improving data security. They like the idea of eliminating print servers and partnering with a company that shares industry best practices for securing printers and multi-function devices. They also appreciate that our touchless printing options have been proven in the market for years.

It’s important to remember that the top cloud application platform providers are Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Apple. These are the best and most reliable technology companies in the world and they have the most at stake in terms of security and service availability for their customers—customers like Pharos.

We built the Pharos Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which gives our customers peace of mind. They know that one of the strongest and most reliable platforms in the world is helping to protect their printing data and output services. It’s a new era for print management, and Pharos is proud to be leading the way forward.

In conclusion, the future of cloud printing is bright and full of innovation. By migrating your print infrastructure to the cloud, you’ll be better prepared for the future and enjoy the numerous benefits that come with cloud print management. So, let’s embrace this new era of print management and start leveraging the power of the cloud.