Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Cloud-based Print Management and the Hybrid Workforce 

The traditional ways of working have been thrown out the window

The “office” is quickly becoming an antiquated term, as people work from anywhere at any time on any device. As beloved author Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) wrote, “Oh! The places you’ll go!”  

Employees have a lot more freedom when it comes to choosing a work location these days, but there are also a host of new issues that come with a distributed workforce. For instance, it’s difficult to ensure print reliability and security as workers hop around from one location, device and network to another. 

What does this mean for traditional print management processes? Well, you can throw them out the window too . . . 

. . . and replace them with cloud-based print management. A cloud model enables organisations to follow remote and hybrid workers wherever they go, keeping documents, data and your network secure. 

The Cat in the Hat Balancing Act of Print Security 

Hybrid work isn’t going anywhere – and neither is print. In fact, 64 percent of organisations said printing will remain critical or very important in the next 12 months, according to the Quocirca Print Security Landscape, 2022 report. But the basic task of printing becomes more difficult to execute and manage among a distributed workforce. 

First, there’s the issue of locating the correct printer driver. Perhaps you’re working from your in-law’s den or the local library. How will you get your document to the printer? Ironing out these kinks disrupts the workday.  

But the security risks that come along with printing in a “work anywhere” world are even more overwhelming. More than half (53 percent) of organisations said the shift to remote work has made it considerably or somewhat harder to keep up with print security challenges.  

Remote and hybrid workers are using more devices and networks that aren’t set up or purchased by the organisation, increasing the attack surface and making it harder for IT to manage.  

Confidential documents are at greater risk of exposure when printed on a public or home printer. In the past 12 months, 68 percent of organisations have experienced data losses due to unsecure printing practices. Vulnerabilities around home printers was cited as one of the top causes of data losses in the survey, which can result in financial penalties, business disruption, and loss of customers. 

All of these issues were easier to juggle in a traditional office setting where IT has more control. But now IT departments down the hall must feel like the Cat in the Hat on top of a ball, balancing a goldfish, cakes and even a rake! 

Fortunately, there’s a solution – “up” in the cloud.  

It’s a Great Day for Up with Cloud-Based Print Management 

Cloud-based print management makes it easy to balance the challenges of print management across a hybrid workforce. Organisations believe in the power of the cloud, with over 44 percent already using a cloud-based print service and an additional 43 percent planning to do so, as discovered in the Quocirca survey. 

Cloud-based print management frees organisations from traditional print management with a solid foundation built on four key advantages that hold remote and hybrid workers UP

  1. Improved productivity and efficiency: 

– Automatic discovery of print networks lets employees focus on their job rather than wasting time figuring out how to print. 

– Secure release and print later technology enables workers to get the documents they need while making sure confidential information isn’t left unattended. 

– The ability to print from anywhere to anywhere on the corporate network or home printers with security and tracking balances ease-of-use with security. 

– A seamless unified experience across all devices maximises convenience. 

  1. Central administration and management: 

– The ability to deploy printers from any location at any time eases the burden on IT. 

– Automatic version updates give the peace of mind software and drivers are always updated. 

– The ability to update drivers from a central management location makes it easier for IT to maximise printer security. 

  1. Enhanced document security and compliance: 

– An audit trail provides visibility into who printed what, where and when for a detailed chain of custody. 

– Encrypted communication between clients and service, endpoint authenticity validation, protection of data at rest, and data communication encryption create a secure framework. 

– A secure multi-tenant cloud platform can even extend zero-trust security to remote workers. 

  1. Cost savings: 

– A cloud-based solution lowers on-premise infrastructure costs. 

– The cloud also lowers the costs related to services, support and maintenance. 

– Predictive analytics provides a visual display of print and capture workflows, making it easier to manage costs. 

Traditional printer fleets are a fleeting notion. A cloud solution keeps your hybrid workforce agile and connected. Your documents and data are locked down, but your remote and hybrid workers aren’t. With cloud-based print management, things are certainly looking up! 

About the author 

Gabriela Garner leads the product marketing function for Kofax’s multi-function device (MFD)/ControlSuite solutions. Prior to joining Kofax, she held global marketing roles at Retail Solutions Inc., EMC/Dell, ZANTAZ/Hewlett-Packard (HP) and other high-tech enterprises and start-ups. Gabriela holds a master of business administration (MBA) from St. Mary’s College of California, and she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from California State University – East Bay.