According to a new report, 73% of organisations believe they will eventually adopt cloud printing services.
Quocirca has released its latest cloud print services report, featuring Y Soft, and revealing the current state of cloud-based printing.
“The print industry is at a critical point where it must build momentum around as-a-service offerings to provide greater flexibility, reliability, and improved performance as well as reduce costs and free up internal resources,” a statement from the company says.
According to the report, cloud print services are emerging as a way of minimising the cost and improving the efficiency of operating an on-premise print infrastructure.
Reducing or eliminating reliance on local print servers, along with shifting print management to the cloud, lets businesses move from a CapEx to an OpEx model.
Flexible and scalable subscription-based pricing provides lower and more predictable costs, while IT burden is reduced as tasks are managed by a third-party cloud print services provider.
Key findings from the report include:
- The traditional on-premise print infrastructure is complex and characterised by cost inefficiencies.
Conventional on-premise infrastructure lacks flexibility and scalability. It is a complex environment encompassing driver installation, device configuration and compliance, device monitoring, reporting and management, server and queue management, firmware updates and app deployment. This can be costly and inefficient, and create a significant administrative burden on already-stretched IT resources.
- Cloud print services and solutions overcome on-premise challenges and represent an opportunity to reduce costs (both financial and environmental), lower the IT burden and improve security.
Adopting a cloud-based print infrastructure can eliminate on-premise print servers, multiple print drivers and queue management while simplifying the environment and reducing the administrative burden on IT staff. Tasks such as firmware updates, fleet management and reporting can be outsourced.
Cloud-based services are procured on a per-use basis, offering greater cost visibility and control. Cloud-based print management solutions can also offer stronger access controls, security and compliance, all appealing benefits in an increasingly robust regulatory landscape.
- Almost three-quarters of organisations expect to adopt cloud print management by 2025, and many are adopting a multicloud strategy.
In line with general trends towards cloud adoption, 73% of organisations ultimately believe they will use cloud-based print management. Any cloud print solution or service must be capable of integrating across a broad range of platforms.
Hybrid cloud approaches that include an on-premise component will also meet the needs of organisations wanting to keep printing tasks within their firewall, offering flexibility that can be tailored to different user groups and employees. 
“In addition to on-premise cost inefficiencies, on-premise infrastructure is complex, requiring a lot of IT resources,” says Y Soft Australia and New Zealand managing director Adam O'Neill.
“With cloud-based printing, organisations' resources could be deployed to work on more strategic initiatives to improve business processes and operations rather than managing print infrastructure. However, not all organisations are ready to jump straight into public cloud hosting for print services regardless of the benefits.
“There are ways to make the journey to public cloud in a series of steps. For example, if an organisation is on-premise, it may want to transition to partial on-premise and partial private cloud. Or, it may want to go from on-premise to all-in on a private cloud. The main thing is that organisations should understand where they are, where they want to go, and how best to get there.