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Making the Business Case for Secure Mobile Printing

Posted on Thu, Mar 13, 2014

IT managers have to make a strong business case before investing in a mobile printing solution. Making the business case for secure mobile printing requires choosing a solution that delivers end user acceptance, integration with existing infrastruc­ture, scalability and functionality, security, and compliance.

End user acceptance is often the hardest part, because users will circumvent any secure mobile printing solution they find too cumbersome. Scalability and functionality are essential, and solutions must stand up to high print volumes and peak times.

When the need for mobile printing in your company moves up the priority list, it’s almost certain that you’ll be asked to make the business case for the investment in a solution. There are four primary considerations:

  • End user acceptance
  • Integration with existing infrastructure
  • Scalability and functionality
  • Security and compliance

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End User Acceptance

End user acceptance is first on the list, because if users aren’t satisfied with the mobile print solution deployed by IT, they will resort to consumer applications that circumvent corporate security and cost controls. Employee behavior is the #1 risk factor in mobile device security. Among the most common risky behaviors are transferring company files to unsecured cloud storage services, sending them to unsecured PCs like the ones in a hotel business center so they can be printed, or installing mobile printing solutions designed for consumers and lacking the kind of control and security features required for a corporate environment.

So the first step in making the business case for a mobile print solution is to talk to end users about their mobile printing needs and desires. For more information on how employee  behavior affects secure mobile printing, see this recent article on the Breezy blog.

Integration with Existing Infrastructure

A mobile printing solution can, and should, work with all networked printers within a company, regardless of brand or age. The reality is that very few enterprises standardize on a single brand of printer, so it is important that your printing solution support a mixed printer
fleet to avoid additional hardware costs. In addition, mobile printing software should integrate seamlessly into existing print management infrastructure for added security and convenience.

While solutions from printer manufacturers often give preference to their brand in order to increase device and supply sales, it's both easier and more cost effective to select a printer-agnostic secure print solution.

Functionality and Scalability

Mobile printing solutions deployed at the enterprise level need to be able to handle many users printing at once. That’s because corporate print networks have peaks and valleys as users all access the print network at certain times of the day. But some mobile print solutions were created for consumers or small businesses, and can’t handle the demands of a large volume of simultaneous print requests.

Nothing will light up phones on the IT help desk faster than an application that fails because it can’t handle a high demand.

So before you purchase a mobile print solution, make sure that it’s been tested under stress.

Security and Compliance

Your investment in mobile device management (MDM), endpoint and network security, and compliance management tools is probably substantial – especially if your business is in a highly regulated industry like banking, education, financial services, healthcare, insurance, or pharmaceuticals. But not all mobile print solutions meet the high standards you’ve set for security and compliance.

As part of the search for the right secure mobile print solution for your business, make sure that the mobile print solution you pick integrates with the MDM solution you’ve already invested in, and can work with the print management controls you have in place. The best solution will integrate with the majority of the leading MDM solutions on the market, so you can keep your secure mobile print solution even if you change MDM vendors.

Last, but certainly not least if your business is subject to federal or state compliance standards, the mobile print solution you select has to meet the security standards imposed by the agencies that regulate your industry. Chances are that means on-device encryption for documents. For more information about compliance and mobile printing, please see this post on the  Breezy blog.

Tags: secure mobile printing, IT, business case for mobile printing, printing from iPad, printing from Android

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