Today’s workplaces have evolved; employees don’t necessarily sit in an office from 9-5 and socially congregate around the office printer like times gone by. The pressure is on to be as productive and efficient as you can be, often workers are on- the-go, but employees still need access to documents and businesses don’t want to compromise on security, so how can this be addressed?
There is, of course, the ongoing debate that print volumes are starting to diminish and the technology will continue to aid this transition to electronic access. However, there is still a huge demand for the printed page, which is unlikely to be eradicated any time soon. According to a recent Quocirca report, half the respondents in their survey indicated that the paperless office is a utopian pipe dream and 83% showed a strong interest in mobile printing and implementing it within their business. The surge in smartphone and tablet adoption and the advent of applications such as mobile print arguably help to keep the printed page alive.
Mobile printing is all about accessibility. We are now living in a technology age where we have the capability to obtain information 24×7 and there is still very much a place for print. Mobile print can be categorised into two key areas: public printing through specific print apps and public hotspots when travelling or in a field based role with the facility to print to devices in airport lounges or hotels for example. Or, corporate printing by utilising solutions that enable printing from smartphone and tablet technology to any device within the corporate network, which is useful for organisations with different sites, locations and campuses. Both options offer flexibility for workforces and authentication to ensure only the recipient printing the document can retrieve it, maintaining the security of any document.
There has been a long-standing debate regarding print security for mobile printing and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)in the workplace, where users can print from their own devices on the corporate network.BYOD can, in some cases actually increase print volumes across a company, as employees benefit from the total flexibility and the ability to print remotely from any device, rather than being tied to a desk-based computer.
However, there are potential risks if a company does not adopt and implement a central mobile print and BYOD policy. For those businesses handling sensitive data, it's essential that the opportunity for staff to use unproven and untested mobile print software is minimised and that any mobile print solution is driven by the company, not the employee. Widely used, and often operating under the organisational radar, unsecured mobile print apps can in some cases cause significant security breaches, as confidential information is sent across company networks from device to printer. Further adding to this problem is the fact that many IT Departments still haven’t got a handle on the more fundamental BYOD issues, such as integrating mobile devices within their network. That makes issues around mobile print and BYOD along way down their list of priorities.
However, ones thing is certain; this trend is not going away, and it’s important for businesses to be on the front foot, or risk a serious security breach in the future. For BYOD to work effectively, it’s essential that organisations formulate a clear strategy that is rolled out across their entire workforce to ensure there is uniformity in mobile print from any personal devices and that the policy is driven centrally.