One of the biggest business benefits of centrally managing print from the cloud is a dramatically simplified print infrastructure. Traditional on-premise-based print infrastructures in organizations with multiple branches or offices can be particularly complex to manage. Each physical location requires a dedicated print server and as a business grows, adds to its fleet, or opens new offices — that typically requires further investment in print servers and more time pressures on IT.
For IT, administration can be cumbersome and time-intensive, even in a small business. It’s not uncommon for print server administration to be managed site by site and server by server. Organizations operating a multi-vendor fleet, further increases the IT burden, requiring them to manage multiple printers and even a print server per vendor—where different manufacturers’ printer drivers don’t sit well together.
Staying on top
There’s also the added pressure to ensure you keep on top of underlying operating systems that need upgrades, patches, security, virus scanning etc. Scripting and group policies is another area requiring dedicated IT resource. Typically used to deploy printers to end-users, these can become extremely complex and require IT to implement specific configurations for individual users and their devices.
A cloud-based print infrastructure that is not reliant on servers enables ongoing optimisation of the print fleet, by enabling the delivery of services as close as possible to end-users. Migrating to the cloud also eliminates the cost and complexity associated with manually monitoring, managing, and updating dedicated print servers.
The solution depends on your environment
Businesses that operate from a single site and use a single network can easily shift to a print infrastructure without servers. A serverless print environment provides a seamless end-user experience and enables users to print directly to printers, while IT can manage everything through a single admin interface.
For larger enterprises, a print infrastructure without servers can seem more challenging, but definitely achievable. Print manufacturers can deliver embedded applications with cloud-enabled deployment tools to help.
Cloud deployment models can differ depending on IT complexity, bandwidth available at individual sites, specific security scenarios, or ageing print devices for example, which is why many larger organizations opt for a hybrid deployment model. This flexible delivery model enables some sites to be 100% cloud and for services to be maintained locally at other locations, depending on business requirements.