Quocirca: Cloud Print Adoption Growing More Complex
The drive for cloud print adoption continues as businesses seek to trim costs and management time. However, they are taking a considered approach and encountering barriers as they strive to balance security, resilience, and availability for the hybrid workforce, finds Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services 2023 report.
The research, conducted among 507 IT decision-makers in the UK, USA, France, and Germany shows that 21% expect their IT infrastructure to be fully in the cloud by 2025, an increase from 5% who are fully cloud-based today. A further 36% expect to be mostly cloud-based, up from 29% today. Hybrid cloud is set to be the dominant approach, however, with two-thirds (67%) expecting this will be their approach by 2025.
Cloud momentum is evident in the print environment, where 31% now manage printing fully or mostly in the cloud, and more than half (55%) expect to do so by 2025.
The print server paradox and security barriers
More than half (53%) of organisations are using a cloud print service today and 33% plan to do so in the next two years. However, despite the tangible benefits in terms of hardware, management and environmental cost reductions, few companies are succeeding in eliminating print servers entirely.
Only 13% of respondents have reduced or completely removed servers from the print environment in the past year, and almost half (48%) have actually increased the number they are using. Among those operating mixed vendor fleets or using MPS, the figure is higher; 58% and 60% respectively have deployed more print servers.
Quocirca research director Louella Fernandes comments: “The rise in print server deployment – particularly among those operating mixed vendor fleets – is likely to be a reflection of the changes organisations are making to support hybrid working and expand their device fleet.”
The survey also found that, despite general recognition that cloud security is typically more robust than on-premise capabilities, security remains the top barrier to cloud print management adoption. More than one-third (36%) of ITDMs say device and document security are key concerns. 29% cited a lack of demonstrable cost savings, while 28% were concerned about performance in terms of the impact on printing if connectivity is lost.
Louella Fernandes continues. “These findings indicate that organisations are taking a more thoughtful approach to the cloud print transition. While aware of the benefits, they are looking for greater certainty in terms of cost savings and performance.
“Cloud security remains a key concern keeping companies’ printing on-premise. However, both cloud and on-premise environments are susceptible to security breaches, and businesses shouldn’t forgo the considerable cost and resource advantages cloud print solutions can deliver on the basis of security concerns. MPS providers and ISVs need to focus on clarifying their messaging on security, cost, and performance benefits in order to support the continued cloud transition.”
A hybrid future supported by MPS
For organisations with tighter security regulations that are not yet ready to eliminate on-premise print servers, a hybrid solution offers ease of use for administrators while still allowing for consolidation and cost savings. Certain data around the print job is managed by on-premise servers, while the metadata around the job itself is managed in the cloud, deployed under a single management platform.
MPS providers are playing an important role in the deployment of cloud print. Forty percent of respondents using full MPS are very satisfied with their shift to a cloud-based print infrastructure, while only 27% of those not using full MPS can say the same.
“This suggests that utilising a third-party MPS provider is a more successful strategy for reaping the full benefits of cloud print than going it alone,” says Louella. “With cloud print services listed as a key supplier selection factor by almost half (45%) of decision-makers, MPS providers with cloud expertise are in a strong position.”
Louella continues: “As the capabilities of cloud-based print management systems continue to improve, a move to the cloud will become attractive to more organisations. For those with a highly decentralised, hybrid workforce that requires high levels of both device and information security, as well as flexibility and the capacity to add more business capabilities into their print environment, cloud-based print management is fast becoming the only option.”
Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services 2023 Report contains buyer and supplier recommendations, alongside detailed analysis of cloud print offerings from major vendors and ISVs:
Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Kyocera, Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Ricoh, Xerox, Celiveo, Kofax (Printix), LRS, MyQ, NT-Ware (UniFLOW), PaperCut, Pharos, Thinprint (ezeep), Vasion (PrinterLogic).
For a complimentary executive summary and to download the full report visit HERE.
- Quocirca Releases Print Industry Trends and Predictions in 2023
- Quocirca Publishes the Print Industry’s First Comprehensive Review of Vendor Sustainability
- Quocirca Reveals Hybrid Workers Face Printer Security Risks
- Quocirca：SMBs Outperform Large Enterprises in Hybrid Working
- Quocirca: Opportunities in Face of Chip Shortage
Please leave your comments below for the story “Quocirca: Cloud Print Adoption Growing More Complex.”