Print Management: Optimise your print fleet for the modern workplace
Print still plays an important part of the workplace experience to support creativity, collaboration and engagement in meetings. However, in today's digital landscape, the role of print in the workplace is rapidly evolving.
With the shift to cloud-enabled infrastructures, businesses are embracing digitisation to advance workflow automation, security, and sustainability. Given these changes, its important that print management is simple, accessible and secure.
In this article, I explore the importance of Print Management, the role of data in optimising print fleets, and how businesses should build a comprehensive approach that meets the needs of both IT and Facilities departments.
Understanding Print Management
Print Management involves all aspects of business printing across the organisation, from monitoring device performance to providing positive experiences for end users. The day-to-day understanding, use, and refinement of the print fleet through effective Print Management will ensure it remains valuable. So, rather than thinking of print devices in isolation, consider them as integral parts of your digital infrastructure and document workflows.
Print Management initiates the processes of efficiently and securely supporting print across all locations including on-premises setup, cloud, or a hybrid of both . Enabling device management for easier administration, and connecting users seamlessly to print-enabled devices, all while ensuring a user-friendly secure printing and scanning experience.
The role of data in shaping an effective print solution
An essential aspect of Print Management software is to assess print devices and the data they capture. Data can include types of documents printed, where originated, usage volumes, and how well your devices are performing. And therein lies the fundamental business case: By analysing print device data, organisations can optimise their print fleet and consider how print can facilitate workflow automation, providing a path to digital transformation.
The call for collaboration between IT and Facilities
Typically, Facility Managers see printers as devices they monitor for uptime, physical location and accessibility. At the same time, IT focus on how printers can be kept secure and effectively managed to improve performance.
Recognising that the print infrastructure aligns with the broader digital environment, collaboration between these two departments is necessary. This ensures a common view on how cloud-enabled print adds value to digital workflows, boosts security, improves sustainability, and reduces administrative burdens.
The typical questions IT and Facilities should be asking are: Does the existing print infrastructure still make sense in today's context? Are there benefits to replacing older devices with cloud-enabled ones? What cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions are available? What software is required to facilitate the digitisation of documents into streamlined workflows?
Answers to these questions, combined with the data insights gathered from the print management software, ensure that IT and Facilities can create innovative strategies to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, increase security, and improve productivity.
Assessing machines in the field
In addition to analysing print device data, assessing the physical machines in the field is also essential. Age, usage, and location play a significant role in optimising the print fleet. Often, this is the responsibility of Facility Managers who are more attuned to the office environment and, as such, print devices themselves.
Facility Managers are likely to be concerned about reducing the number of devices due to reductions in floor space, especially with the rise of flexible or hybrid working. Or they may identify overused or underperforming devices, prompting a need to analyse their workload and review their print fleet to ensure they have the ideal devices to optimise workplace efficiency.
The value of Ricoh Print Management
While IT and Facilities departments often handle print management tasks, they may lack the time or expertise to effectively analyse and utilise print data. This is where a SaaS Managed Print Service provider like Ricoh can help
With our extensive resources, advanced technologies, and insightful dashboards, we can effectively interpret print data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions about their printing strategies. We also foster conversations that address the evolving role of print, ensuring that solutions are flexible enough to adapt to the needs of modern workplaces, particularly in the context of remote or hybrid work arrangements.
At Ricoh, we believe that successful digital transformation hinges on a comprehensive understanding of print data. We're committed to helping businesses like yours leverage this data to align their print strategies with their overall business goals.
Director EMEA Product & Services Management, Ricoh Europe
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