Before we dive into why you should be using cloud printing, let’s first take a moment to understand what cloud printing is. It sounds like another “something” that we’ve added the word “cloud” to and now it’s only something that Silicon Valley knows what it is.
Cloud printing, in its simplest definition, is adding a cloud-based print server between your users and your printers. Why would you want to do this? Another simple answer; to avoid having to download and update print drivers across your devices.
Some of us still remember when you would purchase a new printer, it would come with a USB cable and a CD-ROM (Google it!) with the drivers for your printer on it. You would need to first download the drivers, then at the right time (not a step too soon, or you might need to start over!) connect your USB cable to your printer. Could you imagine having to do this again and again for dozens – even hundreds – of computers in an office.
The process eventually got more streamlined, with drivers being downloaded from websites, and more recently, the auto-discover feature on most consumer devices. Cloud printing takes this ease-of-use and pushes it even further. With cloud printing, all you need to do is add a user’s email address to the cloud print portal, and then, well… that’s it.
Once a user’s email address is added to the system, that user receives an email and they can start printing immediately. No drivers, no downloads, and no more headaches! For additional functionality, you can even add secure-release printing so that only that specific user’s print jobs are released when they swipe their standard NFC access card. Taking it even one more step, cloud printing gives you the ability to centrally track user and user-group level print volumes for billing and reporting.
Imagine the efficiencies this could bring to your organization, especially multi-tenant and shared spaces with communal printers.