How to scale cloud-based print infrastructure services without surging costs
Article by Y Soft lead enterprise architect Hyder Mohammed.
There are many benefits of cloud-based printing, including eliminating the burden on IT to maintain print services and lowering costs. While eliminating print servers is an exciting proposition for many organisations, finding the right cloud print solution for the business should be a considered decision.
What organisations need today will likely not be what they need in the future because organisations don’t stay still. Growth, in particular, should be positive for a business; however, if the cloud-based print solution is rigid and doesn’t adapt to changes and growth, it could end up being a negative and expensive decision.
Microsoft’s Universal Print eliminates the need to manage print servers and print drivers on-premise. However, organisations’ existing printers are most likely not Universal Print compatible. This means that organisations, large and small, wanting to leverage cloud printing through this channel now potentially face the need to buy a fleet of new multifunction devices (MFPs). Or, if there is a solution for their existing printers, they need to know that it will scale as the business does.
Organisations should look for a solution with a serverless device on-premise that connects existing printers to the cloud. With an app, printers can be connected to the Universal Print technology to manage all the print drivers and print servers. This means organisations won’t need to buy new devices to leverage this technology.
A cloud-based print management solution is needed for larger organisations that are interested in additional features that help with mobile printing, rules-based printing, print roaming and reporting of print activity with centralised management.
Adding cloud server capacity to large organisations’ existing services for a full print management solution can be done quite easily. However, it is the print management application sitting on those servers that may create issues in terms of being able to scale efficiently and cost-effectively.
Organisations need to make sure they understand the architecture of the print management software to ensure that it can accommodate changes such as sudden growth or new offices, both local and international.
Ultimately, the questions for any business looking at cloud-based print infrastructure are: can it scale; and can the organisation control those costs as it does.
Whether an organisation just wants cloud printing and infrastructure in the cloud or wants full print management and infrastructure in the cloud, understanding the right questions to ask has never been more critical.
A good solution can be scaled according to changing operating needs; however, a great solution also keeps costs in check, while ensuring the organisation is ready for whatever the future might hold.