Cloud printing – making it simple
We still feel a very strong connection to paper. While everything from photographs to receipts and boarding passes have made transitions to digital formats, paper still has a vital role in the business arena.
Financial projections feel more solid, CVs more weighty and presentations more tangible when they are in paper form. And for as long as we continue to feel that bond, things will need to be printed out.
However, workforces are increasingly mobile, and printers themselves are not traditionally very mobile pieces of kit. But the act of printing does not have to run contrary to the ethos of mobile computing. Mobile, cloud-based printing brings with it a raft of benefits, while continuing to maintain our attachment to the humble A4 sheet of paper.
Cloud printing is tailor-made for the needs of mobile workforces. While in the old days a laptop would have needed multiple drivers to cope with the various printers that might be encountered, mobile printing allows jobs to be sent to a cloud service that acts as a bridge between machine and printer. That absence of drivers vastly simplifies the printing process, which has traditionally been something of a headache.
One of the great benefits of the cloud is the way it can take the strain normally borne by your own IT infrastructure. Cloud printing is perhaps the best example of this, reducing the complexity of the network and the associated costs of maintaining it.
Printing can be quietly happening somewhere remotely while you are doing something more pressing – and mobile printing is designed to do just that, getting documents sent ahead to the places they need to be, which might be an office printer set up to use HP’s ePrint, Apple’s Airprint or Google’s Cloud Print, or even a public location.
Cloud-ready printers can combine security with flexibility; they are available to anyone within your organisation, but access can be given to guests without giving them access to the whole network.
And while the act of taking a virtual document and making it physical can have its own security risks (most obviously a document appearing on a printer and being read by a third party), there are solutions such as a PIN or other form of ID being required at the printer to receive the documents.
Printers might appear to be archaic tools as digital progress accelerates, but mobile printing has adapted well to the changing needs of business – and it banishes for ever that familiar, plaintive wail: “Could you print this out for me?”
Is your business ready for Cloud printing?
Adapted from an article by Rhodri Marsden, telegraph.co.uk