Home user printing. How is it affecting your bottom-line costs and potentially jeopardizing your network security?

There can be no doubt, the pandemic has had an effect on printing habits everywhere. Office printing volumes have reduced significantly, as processes have been streamlined and digitized. However, home users still need to print, and this introduces a new set of challenges for IT professionals; not least of which is endpoint security.

Then there’s the additional complexity that comes from multiple users, with multiple devices, in multiple locations accessing multiple models. This places an additional burden on the IT support desk and has a potentially negative impact on user experience.

When it comes to making informed decisions about your print estate it can be useful to conduct an audit of your current set-up. At the very least, this will provide you with visibility of who is printing what, from where and on what device. It should also provide greater transparency in terms of spend – exactly what is being spent where – and highlight potential areas for consolidation. But what about the bigger picture? How do you access intelligence about the risks associated with running a hybrid home/office print fleet?

A more holistic approach to the audit and assessment process would consider the wider impact of your changing print habits. Of course, cost is going to be a major consideration, but what about accessibility, security and sustainability? How do the print habits of your remote users impact the business as a whole?

The reality is, if your fleet is comprised of ten or more devices, it may be having a hidden impact on your business in a number of ways. It might be time to consider a managed service approach.

The burden of support

Time spent on installing and supporting a variety of print drivers may be costing your business money. By implementing a managed service for home printing, you can significantly reduce the number of drivers being supported.

Inventory management

Different devices require different consumables. Someone needs to order these and stay on top of inventory control – making sure to avoid downtime caused by a lack of available supplies. A managed print service that includes home user printing can automate this process and remotely send meter readings for centralised billing.

Mechanical maintenance

Printers can be temperamental. If a mechanical failure occurs and the device is out of warranty your IT team will be tasked with the repair. This is unlikely to be the best use of their time and will distract them from the more meaningful tasks on their to do list.

Security and compliance

If you set aside all that has gone before, the biggest risk to your business is likely to come from using unsecure hardware. Most home users do not utilise secure firewalls and this leaves them vulnerable to cyber-attack. Printers are frequently the forgotten devices when it comes to end-point security, with IT  departments concentrating on securing user-owned laptops and mobile devices. Any connected device represents a potential area of weakness.

A fully managed service can provide secure cloud printing for home users. This would typically include secure user access and multi-factor authentication, data encryption and a full audit trail of what is being printed, where and by whom.

If you feel that you’re beginning to lose control over your print estate, or you lack the business intelligence to make informed decisions about security and sustainability, please get in touch.

SOS Systems is one of the UKs leading managed print service providers. One of a select few Canon Platinum Partners, we are experts in all things print – from desktop mono printers and office multifunction devices to professional wide format printers.

Our professional services team are experts in secure print management solutions and hold accreditations from major vendors, including Uniflow, PaperCut and Intuitive.

If you are interested in exploring stress-free solutions for your printing technologies, get in touch today. Call 01293 562525 or email info@sossystems.co.uk


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