Whatever business you’re in, it’s likely that you produce a significant amount of printed documents on a daily, weekly and annual basis. From reports and correspondence to legal documents and patient records, every single document has a cost, and more often than not, information governance issues, attached.
In light of these issues, intelligent print management has emerged as an elegant solution that can enable businesses to gain control over all aspects of their printing activities. Before we examine this solution and its current growth though, let’s take a look at some of the common problems that face businesses:
- Print waste – Lack of accountability and monitoring results in unnecessary and inappropriate printing, with associated costs
- Data breaches – A hastily printed document, equally hastily forgotten about, can quickly find itself removed from the printing tray by the wrong hands
- Wasted work-hours – Rectifying problems with an ageing printing system can create additional unnecessary work for your IT department and impede other staff in their daily activities
- Lack of ‘big picture’ knowledge – Without a central overview of print processes and behaviours across the organisation, it can be difficult to take effective actions to streamline use of resources.
What organisation wouldn’t want to put these problems behind them?
Intelligent print management – Bringing the future into today’s workplace
For a growing number of businesses, ‘intelligent print management’ (IPM) is the solution to all of these problems. In fact, according to Technavio’s ‘Global Intelligent Print Management Market 2014-2018’ report, the IPM market is set to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.91% over the period 2013 – 2018.
With so much at stake, this growth should not be surprising. What is surprising is that there are still businesses out there that are yet to embrace the solutions that intelligent print management can provide.
What is intelligent print management?
Intelligent print management refers to software-based solutions which can be used to manage printers within an organisation and their usage by staff. IPM can be used to manage the entire printing process, in order to solve the common problems mentioned above. In practice, that means:
- Printing to any printer as required – if you’ve got a large office over multiple floors, users (particularly new or temporary staff) can get confused about which printer they should print to. With intelligent print management, they can simply set their document to print and then pick it up by swiping their keycard or entering a pin code at their most convenient printer.
- Secure printing – Whereas traditional printing methods can result in sensitive documents being left unattended, using IPM means that the person who printed the document will have to authorise its release at the point of printing.
- Printing from mobile – If you’re running late for a meeting and you need a crucial document, the last thing you want to do is log into a workstation and go through the rigmarole of printing it. IPM solutions allow you to quickly print direct from your smartphone or tablet.
- Monitoring usage – For any large organisation, one of the key challenges of print management is keeping track of who is printing, and how they are printing. Intelligent print management makes it possible to monitor usage and printing behaviours centrally.
- Intuitive management of multiple printer types – By using a software solution that is linked to all of your printers, you can save a considerable amount of IT man-hours and additional working time that might otherwise be lost due to unaccounted gremlins in the machine.
Is now the time to invest in intelligent print management software?
If you’re concerned about the security of your documents, you should invest in an intelligent print management solution. According to a survey by Quocirca, 63% of British, German and French organisations with more than 1,000 employees suffered one or more data breaches due to printed documents.
With intelligent print management, you can keep track of what documents have printed by who, and ensure that only those who are authorised pick them up from the printer.
If tracking costs and usage is important to you, you should invest in intelligent print management. 55% of respondents said that understanding print usage was their top challenge, while only 7% were satisfied with the current visibility of usage within their organisation. Only 15% of respondents had actually deployed a centralised print management tool.
IPM provides you with the tool that you need to track and understand print usage, so that you can make informed decisions that will increase efficiency.
In 2015, when data security is paramount and when all businesses are under pressure to eliminate waste and decrease costs, intelligent print management is the only solution that makes sense.