Hybrid work is here to stay. That’s what Forbes is saying, anyway. Not all offices will transition to a hybrid work environment, obviously, but for those that do, new systems and policies are going to be crucial. With half the workforce at home, and the rest in the office, we need to figure out new ways of doing business. Especially when it comes to print management.
With the post-COVID emphasis on remote work, cloud print management is booming right now. Which makes sense. Cloud printing offers a flexible solution to some of the common headaches of hybrid work: staff can print documents - securely - from anywhere, sysadmins and IT managers can easily manage the print environment, and businesses can shrink their overheads at the same time.
Let’s look at some of the ways hybrid work has changed print management.
The hybrid work environment and print management
The work environment has changed forever, and it doesn’t look like going backwards. If you want to compete in the post-COVID world, hybrid work and cloud printing are the way to go. Here are some of the trends we’re seeing:
Digitization is on the rise – During the pandemic, businesses responded to physical distance by moving many of their operations online. Cloud-based services and BYOD trends were the big winners here, allowing employees to perform their day-to-day roles from home. In this new office ecosystem, traditional print servers (or worse: physical printer connections) simply don’t cut it. We need mobile, flexible, cloud-based print management solutions.
Cyber risks are everywhere – Unfortunately, decentralized workforces came with a (somewhat expected) side effect: cyber vulnerabilities went through the roof. Instead of working through secure, on-site private servers, businesses were suddenly cloud-based, relying on good user habits and dodgy WIFI passwords to protect their private data. And we all know how that turned out. According to the FBI, cybercrime in America exploded 400% during the pandemic.
Devices everywhere – With a decentralized workforce comes an increase in devices. This not only spreads the number of possible cyber-attack vectors, but it also makes the job of sysadmins much harder. Without an effective print management solution, it’s going to be tricky for businesses to stay on top of their print flow. This is particularly important for industries like finance, health and the law, which come with their own privacy and data security compliance standards.
How print management can help in the hybrid work environment
When it comes to hybrid work, print management solutions aren’t just a nice-to-have, they’re increasingly becoming a necessity. Cloud print management refers to software solutions, like PaperCut, that streamline and control your printing activities – specifically via the cloud. Print management suits hybrid work because it combines all the best elements of on-site servers – security, stability, centralized control – with the flexibility of remote access.
Benefits of cloud print management for hybrid working
Print management solutions come with a stack of benefits, and we don’t have space to list them all here. If you’d like to dive into cloud printing in more detail, you can always check out our website .
Here are some of the common benefits of cloud printing, especially when it comes to hybrid work.
Centralized control – Decentralized workforce, centralized control. That’s the way forward. Cloud printing gives your sysadmins and IT managers one, central platform to manage and monitor all your printing activities. No matter how many devices or locations.
User authentication – We’ve got a whole page on cloud print security , but here’s the best bit. Along with end-to-end encryption, print management software lets you setup user authentication and authorization, so only approved users can print.
Cost tracking – How much money are you spending on printing? Don’t know? Cloud print management solutions can track that for you. Every dollar, every department, every print job. This lets you allocate your print budget more effectively.
Print rules and policies – With cloud print management, admins can easily set up print rules and policies. These might include print quotas, a limit on color printing, enforced duplex printing (a great paper-saver) or redirecting certain print jobs.
Device agnostic – It doesn’t matter what devices your staff are using at home. With print management, a hybrid team can print from their iPhone, Android, Chromebook, macOS or even Linux. This is why print management is so conducive to remote work.
Print from anywhere – Cloud print management lets your team print from anywhere. All they need is an internet connection. This is obviously perfect for hybrid work environments, where you need maximum geographic flexibility.
How to get started
Which cloud print management solution is right for you? That really depends. Our friendly team can definitely help tailor a print management solution for your business, but it’s worth checking out some of PaperCut’s more popular products, too.
PaperCut Hive is our complete, cloud-native print management platform – great for hybrid work environments. Or there’s PaperCut Pocket , which offers many of the same print management features, but tweaked for small and medium businesses.