linkedin  Google+  email-3  twitter  facebook

What can mobile printing do for your business?

mobile-printing

We’ve spent a lot of time on the cloud lately, and for good reason.

The changing technology landscape is changing the way we work, and the cloud is behind most of that change.

There’s some confusion, though, as to how necessary the cloud is to the future of business operations.

In its recent Workflow Optimization Study, Canon asked business professionals whether investing in certain technologies is “very or extremely important to running their businesses more effectively.”

The results indicate what Dennis Amorosano, Vice President and General Manager of Canon’s Business Imaging Solutions Group Marketing Division, called a “knowledge gap” between IT professionals and non-IT professionals.

 

The following table shows what percentage of those surveyed believe each respective technology to be at least very important.

 

Percentage of IT professionals

Percentage of non-IT professionals

Cloud-based technology

79

47

Integrating paper-based and digital information into company databases

77

55

Printing information from the cloud

75

45

Managed print services

71

46

The discrepancy between IT pros and non-IT pros and their feelings toward technology-based solutions is understandable. However, there’s one area that, according to Canon, everyone agrees on:

“...the ongoing role of paper within their organizations, and security concerns. A total of 82 percent of all professionals strongly or somewhat agree that they anticipate there will still be a need for paper-based workflows in their organization for at least a decade. When asked about the issues related to their current document workflows that they are very or extremely concerned about, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of professionals cited security breaches, making it the top concern.”

Canon goes on to illustrate the benefits of mobile printing. When respondents whose company utilized these technologies were asked about those benefits, the vast majority cited increased productivity from the increased flexibility in their printing workflow.

All this being the case, it’s helpful to know just what mobile printing can do for your business. 

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

The first and perhaps most frequently utilised feature of going mobile is the ability of employees to use their own devices. Most office workers have their own smartphone, whether it’s an Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone. That presents a unique savings opportunity for businesses, since BYOD makes buying employees separate devices for business redundant.

When employees can work with their own devices, they do. According to Canon, “70 percent of professionals whose companies support BYOD said employees use their personal devices to access and share documents through company email, 59 percent said employees access documents stored in the cloud and 54 percent said employees access company databases.”

What is mobile printing?

Even with all that mobile access, though, paper isn’t going anywhere - at least not anytime soon. 82 percent of Canon’s respondents said that paper would be a critical aspect of their business for at least the next decade. That means that, while mobile access is rising, new paper technologies are still as important as access.

If we transition to the cloud, we put all of our files in the cloud so that they are accessible from any device. Those files will still exist on our desktops and servers, so printing from there largely remains the same. When those files are available on our mobile devices, however, we also have the ability to print from our smartphones or tablets. So what does that look like?

There are essentially two primary methods of mobile printing. First, printing companies such as Canon often include an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone, allowing any user to send a print job to a printer from anywhere within the same Wi-Fi network. Canon’s app, for example, can print Microsoft Office files, PDF files, and more.

A passcode method utilised by other apps allows users to print when they’re not on the same network. When a print job is added, a passcode is generated on the device and stored on the printer. When the user can access the printer, he or she simply types in the required passcode, and the document is printed. 

Use Cases

At BMS, we are keenly aware of the surge in demand for mobile printingWe have noticed two industries in particular that have started to use mobile printing as part of their operation:

Education – schools in particular. A lot of schools are handing out iPads to their students now, who then need to be able to print from these devices given the significant number of files and information stored on those devices.

Hotels - It’s now common to see hotels offering their own wireless printing facilities, sending an email code back to guests who can then release the print job with that code.

The need is getting greater and greater, with noticeably more people asking us about it.

The Caveat

Mobile printing has come a long way, but it hasn’t been able to keep up with cloud computing in general - yet. Google Drive, for example, can integrate directly with a Canon printer, allowing users to authenticate themselves, access their files, and print those files, all directly from a photocopier. It works the other way too - users can scan directly from the machine into Google Drive, then access those files from their iPads, Android devices, or PC.

Still, it can be clunky. Manufacturers are currently in a rush to utilize the full capabilities of the cloud. That rush sometimes result in workflows that are less than optimal. A proper mobile printing solution will not only be tailored to your company’s needs, it will also eliminate holes in the workflow itself that could be exploited. Security isn’t just a matter of holes in the technology though - it’s also a matter of optimizing employee behaviour.
As an example, just think of an employee printing a classified document at 9am from the field, then leaving it to sit on the printer, unmonitored until he returns hours later.

Mobile printing can be a huge benefit to your productivity, but it must be done right. If you’re thinking of implementing a mobile printing solution, or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call our helpdesk on 02 4254 5444 or email us.

Cloud Computing eBook

 

Subscribe to our blog to receive regular articles