We’ve spoken before about why businesses are moving their printing to cloud services. Today we’ll tackle the trickier question of when will businesses switch from printing on-premise with print servers to SaaS cloud print management solutions.
Earlier last year Quocirca reported 73% of businesses were expecting to transition their operations to the cloud by 2025.
Then the pandemic hit…
Since then there’s been an acceleration of businesses transitioning to the cloud. Quocirca’s more recent security report indicated that cloud uptake will have risen by 9% come the end of 2021.
Logic Monitor concurs. A recent Deloitte survey reported 87% of global IT decision-makers agree the pandemic will cause organizations to accelerate their migration to the cloud, anticipating a decline in on-premise workloads by 2025.
So to answer the question, “When will businesses switch their printing from on-premise to cloud?” They already are.
However, not all businesses just yet.
4 considerations for switching to cloud print management
1. There’s no need to rush
If you’re saying, “Look, all the cool kids are transitioning to cloud print services! But I just recently re-signed my on-prem contract for my print management needs!”
Here’s what you need to do… chill! If you’re still managing with an on-premise print management set-up, you don’t need to speed over to the cloud.
If your workplace already has an infrastructure in place for your printing, you don’t need to go full Office Space on your print server to keep up with the trend of moving to the cloud.
2. If your print environment is simple, you can move now!
There’s no need to be hasty for intricate print environments. But for simple workplace environments with a limited amount of users and devices, you can move your print management to the cloud as soon as possible.
Especially if you’re the type of workplace already using cloud services like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, etc. If you’re already in the cloud for the majority of your operations, it makes more sense to get your print management in the cloud than keeping or purchasing a print server.
So long as you follow the golden rule…
3. Choose public cloud-native solutions, not public cloud-added
This is all about the difference between public cloud and private cloud - which we’ve written a handy guide on in our cloud basics blog series. The main difference being public cloud is shared resources over the internet whereas private cloud is purpose-built cloud functionality hosted in a data center. The biggest contrast between private and public cloud is security - you control your private cloud data, public cloud is outsourced to a provider.
When most people consider moving to the cloud, they’ll be looking at a public cloud solution (i.e. Google Workspace, Microsoft 365). Therefore, if you’re going public cloud, go public cloud-native. Don’t get public cloud-added, which is a private cloud solution that’s been hurriedly adapted to create a public cloud effect - that’s just going to mask a lot of expense and complexity.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want private cloud, go for it! But if you’re after public cloud functionality, heed my warning: avoid private cloud on-prem solutions that have been spun up to work in the public cloud.
We specifically chose not to adapt our flagship solution PaperCut MF to the public cloud. It would be a stretch to claim world-class security if we just migrated our existing codebase from private to public. We made the conscientious decision to perform a line-one code rewrite specifically for public cloud when creating our cloud-native print management solution, PaperCut Hive.
Why did we make this decision? Public and private cloud have completely different environments when it comes to data security. A private cloud is no less secure than an on-prem solution. But with public cloud, you’re dealing with data in the internet and the internet is the Dark Forest in Hogwarts - it’s a scary, scaaaaaaaaaaary place.
Cloud-native is the most secure public cloud offering, it means it’s been designed following shift-left security principles. Using our own cloud-native solution PaperCut Hive as an example, before one line of code was written security was baked into the design, not just left until penetration testing (which is also a vital part of designing secure solutions).
This brings us to our last point…
4. Cloud adoption is accelerated due to Covid-19
As mentioned above, cloud adoption has been predicted to continually rise by 2025. By necessity, this adoption has accelerated due to Covid-19… and that’s a good thing!
Many workplaces have been meaning to move from on-prem data centers to the likes of Azure and Google Cloud. However, the bigger the infrastructure, the more monumental the task of moving to the cloud.
Remote working during Covid-19 lockdowns has been the straw that broke the camel’s back for many organizations. Here at PaperCut, we were already using Google Meet and Slack for regular meetings, so we were well placed to shift to a hybrid and remote working model.
Nothing quite like being forced to move house when something unavoidable makes your current home unlivable - I’m looking at you, neighbors who play the bongos after midnight before every important meeting I’ve ever had!
For many workplaces, employees needed to work from home and access their data remotely. It’s the same for some printing environments.
Whether you’re working from home at all times or are fortunate to work in a hybrid home/office split, your printing needs to be as flexible as accessing your documents over the cloud. That makes now the perfect time to move to cloud-native print management if your business is well-positioned to do so.
So when should your business switch from on-premise to cloud print management?
Here’s the quick checklist for whether or not switching to cloud print management is right for your business:
- You’re not still under contract for an on-premise print management solution
- You can move ASAP if your print environment is a simple one
- No matter when you move, choose public cloud-native and not public cloud-added solutions
- If you check all those boxes, now could be the perfect time to move
Still not sure?
We’ve said this a few times, but let’s reiterate one more time - there’s no hurry. Yes, I know I said cloud adoption has accelerated but that doesn’t mean you need to put the pedal to the metal to switch right this second.
Cloud print management, like any software, has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you make any decisions, brush up on our cloud computing basics blog series to ensure you make the right choice for your business’s printing needs.
Or if you’d like to know about our cloud-native print management solution, PaperCut Hive, click below.