Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Linux Containers, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Removing Obstacles to Enterprise Printing Across the Cloud

Cloud printing is particularly useful for large organizations with complicated computer network infrastructures

Printing and the cloud are seemingly at opposite ends of an organization's infrastructure spectrum. Printing remains one of the last bastions of an organization's infrastructure that cannot be completely virtualized since the whole point of printing is to take something virtual and make it physical. The cloud allows businesses to be more efficient and printing should be one of those business processes, maybe even the most basic business process that could be simplified with the cloud.

The big benefit of cloud printing is that it drastically simplifies intra-organizational printing structures and flattens the complexities of coordinating hardware across a widely distributed system of computers. Of course, not all cloud printing is created equal, and - as with any new technology - the cloud brings with it a slew of new challenges. Among these are the differences between public and private cloud printing and the ease of implementation to achieve these benefits. Figuring out these differences is central to understanding how to successfully implement a cloud-printing solution for your organization.

Cloud printing is particularly useful for large organizations with complicated computer network infrastructures such as government agencies, financial corporations, and healthcare organizations. Many of these institutions connect hundreds (if not thousands) of devices and printers, sometimes across multiple locations. As work becomes more mobile, an employee may need to print from multiple locations in different parts of a building or of a country. Struggling with installing different printer drivers each time that an employee needs to print from a new printer is not just annoying, but also time-consuming and a drain on productivity.

Public cloud printing services can smooth out some of these snafus. They connect printers to the web so that they can be accessed from anywhere and at anytime from web-connected devices. Instead of installing unique drivers for every new printer, you could print from anywhere, as long as both the printer and the device are linked to the cloud printing service. Even more, with cloud printing services, you could print from virtually any device that can connect to the service - including tablets and mobile phones.

However, many times, organizations also have high levels of security concerns that preclude them from using a public cloud. The problem with many third party cloud printing services is that they use the "public" cloud. While these cloud printing options do simplify the printing process, all the print data must travel through the public cloud as it makes its journey from device to printer. Many organizations such as government agencies, financial corporations, or healthcare organizations do not use public cloud services for the expressed reason that it is public. Though some public cloud services have a privacy policy and a guarantee in place, many organizations need greater control and oversight of the sensitive data they handle. Moreover, these organizations are also often large enough to merit their own clouds. As such, they prefer to create in-house private clouds so that they can leverage the advantages of cloud services while also maintaining their own security over sensitive data.

Implementing a private cloud printing solution has its own complications. Consider the infrastructure of government agencies as just one example. Every agency has its own structure for printing, each with active directories, and hundreds of thousands of users dispersed over wide geographic areas. Consolidating printing in this situation requires aligning all the printers, drivers, devices, and users within the system - something that can't be done easily or efficiently. Even more, this system is routinely bogged down with driver updates creating a giant logistical headache. Every device needs to be updated for every driver update for every printer when the updates crop up. For the devices that don't have printer drivers? Those will never be able to print at all. As such, a great resolution to this organizational hazard is to deploy a universal printer driver solution that can seamlessly connect and manage all printers within complex enterprise environments.

Institutions on the scale of multiple government agencies, whether they're on the local, state, or federal level, manage more printers than are easily handled in list form - though, truthfully, in comparison to public cloud printing, private clouds handle far fewer printers, which also makes them a better option for enterprises. Either way, the printers need a structure that ensures that users can identify the right printer without extraneous hassle. The structure should require as little effort on the user's part as possible, so this particular iteration of cloud services must keep the location in mind. Printers should automatically connect to whatever network makes the most sense (like the library in a university or the particular building a printer is attached to) so that only a few printers out of all the printers in the cloud get exposed to each user based on localities.

Cloud printing seems like a solution to this headache, that is consolidating the vast multiplicity of printers in large and sprawling institutions. However, this solution may create more problems than it solves in its implementation. Instituting cloud printing for many organizations is not as simple as ceding the reins to a public cloud service company. The particular security concerns of government agencies, financial corporations, healthcare providers, and other security-sensitive institutions make public cloud solutions impossible. Private cloud printing solutions, on the other hand, are complex puzzles that are difficult to administer. The right solution must be implemented to effectively address the complicated infrastructures of institutional printing while also ensuring that user access to printers is as easy and secure as possible. Without that, cloud printing would just replace one problem with another.

More Stories By Arron Fu

Arron Fu is Vice President of Software Development at UniPrint. He oversees the operation of UniPrint, and also presides over its software development function. He is instrumental in steering software developments, including the award-winning UniPrintTM Infinity printing solution, a universal printer driver specifically designed for optimizing printing functionality and simplifying administration in multi-user, server-based computing environments.

Arron is an IT industry veteran. Prior to taking up his management role at UniPrint, he spent 15 years in the field of consulting, system installation/integration, and application design and development across business functions, processes and industries.

Arron holds a degree in Computer and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manitoba as well as a number of industry standard qualifications.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...