Secure Enterprise Cloud Based Printing

Wednesday, 20th September, 2017

The Problem

On average, 30% of an organisation’s internal IT support issues are print related and 63% of enterprises have been affected by print related security breaches.

Getting the right balance between high security, intuitive user experience  and low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has, in the past, been a challenge.

Opportunities with the latest technologies

However, with the latest advances in print management solutions and possibilities with cloud technology, organisations can now be assured that their print environment adheres to the very highest security standards whilst delivering a much lower TCO.

Using cloud technology, the third generation of ‘server-less’ secure print management has now been introduced. With a unique ‘one driver’ solution, managing print is simplified without compromising the advantages of compliance, security, savings and lean printing processes.

This eradicates:

  • The hassle associated with managing multiple print drivers
  • Managing print queues and servers
  • High installation costs
  • Print related support issues

 As a result, organisations can now benefit from:

  • Easier system administration
  • Consolidated IT infrastructure
  • Higher efficiency
  • Increased user satisfaction and productivity

Security and Data Considerations

According to IDC Europe, 15-20% print jobs are never collected and instead are left at the printer. With GDPR being introduced in the next 12 months across the EU, including the UK, organisations cannot not afford for potentially confidential documentation to be released at an unattended print device.

Most will be familiar with terms such as secure ‘follow-me’ printing, ‘follow-you’ printing and ‘tap&go’ print. The ability for a user to securely print their documents at a print device of their choosing has been common practice in the print management world for some time. Authentication at the printer is usually in the form of an ID card.

However, problems still arise if the printer hits an error after the user attempts to release the print job – e.g. a paper jam, toner error or an empty paper tray.  In these situations, users may be presented with a partially printed document which leads them to calling their local helpdesks. The specific error may be trivial to resolve, usually fixed remotely,however, once action has been taken, the printer will successfully print the remainder of the document without the owner being present - a situation that will contravene new GDPR guidelines should any of the documentation contain confidential and personal data.

This can now be solved using ‘sticky’ card technology*, whereby a printer can only continue a job if the user’s card is within read range. Once the card is removed, any unfinished job is automatically wiped from the printer’s hard drive.

In addition to this, any print management solution should now offer end to end SSL encryption, the potential for passphrase entry following card authentication, failover options with no redundant data (such as a direct link to a user’s ID) and secure VPN options for cloud printing.

Lower TCO

Most print management systems offer similar features which include reduction in paper waste, vendor independence, only release documents that are needed from a list at the printer, track and control user or department print usage, rules, hardware consolidation and improved productivity from pull printing.

We have benefited from these features and enjoyed a lower TCO for some time but in today’s market, the solutions offering the lowest TCO make budgets go further.

True one-driver technology is now possible, and not by using a basic driver which causes loss of finishing options on more advanced MFPs, but by using patented technology, files are converted on the print server delivering a one-driver solution which is easily deployed and maintained.

And the less drivers being managed, the less support case received. One organisation reduced their support staff workloads aligned to print issues significantly, freeing up their time to work on more crucial tasks and projects.

Server-less printing is also a key aspect of a solution offering the lowest TCO. This eradicates the need to install, maintain, support and provide licences for a multitude of print servers.

Even better, for existing IBM Z customers, the best solution can be hosted in this environment, reducing the server cost per print device from £7 per month in a Windows environment to £1 per month in an IBM Z environment.  

In addition to the benefits seen from the reduction in hardware investment, server-less printing reduces power consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, cuts admin costs and delivers a more flexible, scalable IT infrastructure.

A solution offering this will have centralised administration delivering better control, easier deployment and multi-tenancy options – ideal for organisations such as councils with many separate entities or schools; and large organisations requiring autonomy across their various divisions.

The Solution

AIT is now exclusive UK distributors of OneQ’s cloud print management solution – the most innovative, secure print solution on the market. OneQ streamlines your printing environment, providing and delivering the lowest TCO with minimum management and improved usability whilst maintaining the very highest security standards.

Want to know more, please get in touch at solutions@ait.co.uk or give us a call on 0113 273 0300. 

*Subject to device manufacturer