A survey carried out by the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests that in spite of the business value that can be derived from mobile printing, support for it amongst businesses remains low. For managed service provider Annodata, businesses must pay closer attention to the ways their employees prefer to work and build their printer estates accordingly, if they are to improve productivity.
The research, which covered six countries, revealed that in spite of the business value that can be derived from mobile printing, a significant proportion of smartphone and tablet users are unable to print from their devices; roughly a third of smartphone users (35 per cent) and tablet users (34 per cent) want to be able to print from these devices but are unable to. In addition, 75 per cent of mobile users said the business value of mobile printing was similar to PC printing, and a further 15 per cent said that it was greater.
The top four benefits of mobile printing mentioned by respondents were the speed of reviewing documents, customer satisfaction, the number of transactions processed and the number of new customers brought on board.
Grant Howard, Professional Services Technical Manager at Annodata commented: "The landscape for printing, scanning and document management is undergoing an important change. Enterprises of all sizes should recognise the increasing use of and taste for mobile printing – and the decreasing tolerance to its failure – and introduce user-friendly applications to reflect this obvious trend.
"This is ultimately about ensuring that print systems can keep up with other changes that are happening in the working environment. Staff are finally starting to break free from their desktop computers with the help of smartphones and tablets, but too many find themselves having to go back to their computers to print documents. Devices no longer need to be physically attached by cables to printers and this is transforming access to print from multiple devices in multiple locations. The irony is that the switch to mobile-enabled printing is a relatively simple one, and is something that can be easily facilitated by a managed print provider.
"In our experience many businesses are fearful of the security implications of connecting mobile devices to their printer estates, or that by doing so they will also need to approve of BYOD in the workforce. The answer is not to ignore the opportunity, but to work out a way to do it securely and efficiently. It's about time companies proactively improved their service to be inclusive of users' changing behaviours to reflect the potential of technologies," Grant concluded.