The Stack Archive Feature

Has your organisation cracked cloud printing?

Fri 2 Mar 2018 | Tom Barber

Cloud adoption can be a challenging journey. For organizations moving to the cloud, there are many considerations. Whether this is cost, security, or simply persuading others that the move is worth it.

It’s understandable then, that cloud printing solutions might not always stay at the top of the to-do list. With all the hours put in assessing and implementing all the digital advantages of a scalable, flexible system, it could be easy to think that something that seems as simple as printing would just fall into place.

But, in fact, it’s not that simple. For most organizations printing is a vital, everyday task. For others, printing is critical to running key business processes. For others, it is a legal requirement.

An enterprise printing solution that works all the time, every time, is very important. For those businesses that are switching to the cloud, it is vital that there is a cloud printing solution, just as there is for the other workflows in the cloud.

To cross the bridge from traditional on-premise printing to enterprise cloud printing, there are some key questions that need to be answered, and challenges that need to be overcome. In this series, The Stack is partnering with PrinterOn to guide you over that bridge.

Cloud printing questions

The first, and most obvious question is: What is cloud printing? To answer this, the primary thing to understand is what you need. If your organization has chosen to move to the cloud, you are obviously looking to take advantage of the opportunities this offers; increased flexibility, scalability, access to smarter tools and reduced IT cost.

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If this is the goal, there is little point in only doing half a job when it comes to migrating your traditional print solution. Many organizations that claim to offer cloud printing actually offer services with on-premise infrastructure dependencies, and can’t support cloud-based user authentication. The best answer is True Cloud PrintingTM.

An important aspect of the process to consider is how moving your infrastructure to the cloud affects the way you print. It certainly won’t be the same process, and it some important use cases it’s likely you won’t be able to print at all if you aren’t working with a proper cloud printing solution.

Printers that exist within an on-premise infrastructure sit behind a firewall on the trusted network. A cloud printing solution sits outside of this. That means that the two are unable to communicate, and you’ll trip at the first hurdle.

Of course, modern organizations are complex entities and use many products and services. Recent surveys show that the most popular setup for enterprise businesses is to go with a multi-cloud, hybrid cloud infrastructure. This approach enables them to start their IT move to the cloud gradually minimizing business risk.

But, it’s not as simple as bridging the communication gap between a single cloud application and a single printer. The next thing you’ll have to ask yourself is – can my printing solution support cloud-based user authentication like Azure AD, Centrify,  or Okta? Can it be deployed in any third-party cloud of my choice such as AWS or Azure? Does it remove the dependency on VPN connections just to connect to printers?

It’s also extremely important that the process is seamless for the people in your organization. It also has to be easy and simple. If a cloud printing solution is done right, the typical user won’t even know it’s there. That means you’ll need to assess whether or not your solution can provide the identical user experience whether the user is in the cloud or on-premise.

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Addressing remote printing and mobile printing concerns

It also means catering to the modern workforce. It’s now a normal expectation by both senior management and by workers themselves that the people within an organization can work pretty much anywhere, in a mobile way, with little or no interruption to their day or impact on their productivity.

Therefore, you’ll want to be assured that your cloud printing solution is capable of supporting remote printing, mobile printing, pull printing and desktop printing. Moving to the cloud is about working smart, wherever you are. There’s no reason why printing can’t be the same.

Supporting the mobile workforce is a key consideration for any person overseeing an organization’s IT, and printing is no different. Whether that means enabling employees to print from an iPhone, print from Android, or printing from a tablet, this series will cover the topic in depth with everything you need to know to successfully manage this process.


The security of cloud printing

Perhaps the most critical element of any move to the cloud is security. In any consideration of cloud adoption, security is always a key topic. It is absolutely imperative that IT teams protect the corporate data, any personal data, and any access to other corporate resources.

Increasing cloud adoption rates show that cloud security fears are being addressed. If security cannot be assured, migration to the cloud cannot progress. Hackers are always looking for weaknesses that an organization might have. If cloud printing is overlooked, it might just be the weakness they were searching for.

It’s vital, then, that you work with an organization that offers a printing service that understands and cares about security and makes it a top priority. A solution that provides end-to-end security in every workflow is imperative.

PrinterOn has been helping businesses print from the cloud since 2001, and is the expert on making printing work for you, securely, safely and flexibly.

True Cloud Printing

The key differentiator between many of the organisations offering cloud printing and PrinterOn’s cloud printing service is the focus on what it calls True Cloud Printing. While many solutions might have on-premise infrastructure dependencies, or aren’t able to support cloud-based user authentication, or require VPNs, or even all of those problems, PrinterOn truly lives and works in the cloud.

Whichever cloud it is, your solution needs to work. It doesn’t matter if you’re using AWS, Azure, or another cloud service, or even working in your own private cloud—behind your own firewall, the solution should work the same, run the same and be managed the same.

That applies elsewhere too. Consistency is key, and the ability to provide the same services without any infrastructure dependencies, no matter where it is deployed, without the use of a VPN is what makes a cloud printing solution truly successful for you.

Years of cumulative product innovation has put PrinterOn at the top of a competitive market. The team at PrinterOn wants you to succeed, and has teamed up with The Stack to make that happen. It’s the one-stop shop for all you need to be able to deploy enterprise-grade secure printing services in the cloud.

CEEL_Date_UK_2018_CMYK-copy-191x160Come and meet the PrinterOn team on stand C1537 at Cloud Expo Europe, 21-22 March, ExCel London. Register for your free ticket today. 

Experts featured:

Tom Barber

Senior Director of Sales & Marketing


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