The productivity gains to be had from BYOD and mobile working will be lessened unless businesses' print estates are brought up to date. According to Annodata, provider of communications, managed print and IT services, organisations must embrace cloud-based print or risk rendering their staff unable to do the most basic of tasks.
The latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum, which surveyed 250 UK IT decision-makers, has found that 19 per cent of organisations that have a file and print management service currently host it in the cloud, and a further 17 per cent have plans to do so in the near future. However, the remaining 63 per cent stated that they had no plans to move this function to the cloud, instead preferring to keep it in-house.
Responding to the results, Andrew Smith, Head of Professional Services at Annodata, said that the lack of appetite amongst businesses for cloud-based print is surprising given the central role the printed page maintains in today's enterprises.
Andrew commented: "There's clearly momentum in this space, but it's surprising to see that cloud-based print and file management isn't even on the radar of so many businesses. Print and file management languishes at the bottom third of IT directors' priorities and is too often thought of as trivial, yet it's integral to the well running to a host of other business functions. Moreover, it's one of the functions that stands to benefit most by being hosted in the cloud.
"Print remains an essential part of the IT estate so it's important that it can keep pace with the transformation we are currently seeing in working practices across the board, like the trend towards BYOD and the mobile workforce. It's all very well equipping the workforce with shiny new mobile devices, but unless employees can access and print documents efficiently, when and where they need them, any productivity gains to be had from mobility and BYOD schemes will be lessened.
"Businesses today want IT services that support their business objectives at a cost that allows them to grow and achieve their targets, which is exactly what cloud-based printing offers. Cloud-based print services offer businesses more visibility over their print practices and outputs. Businesses that manage their printing in the cloud report cost savings of as much as 40 per cent, and routinely see the number of pages they physically print decline by a third. But as with any service being offered via the cloud, finding the right provider is key.
"Ensure a provider is chosen that has invested in their processes, infrastructure and support network. With the correct cloud print provider a simple yet essential process can be migrated to a future proof and scalable platform and provided back to the client as a true managed service from start to finish," he concluded.