Whether they’re going green, or just trying to avoid going over budget due to spiraling printing costs, a growing number of corporations and educational institutions around the globe are adopting print management solutions to help control excess printing costs.
In the introduction to its 2010 Magic Quadrant report on managed print services, Gartner described printing as “the last great area of uncontrolled costs.” The report also said that “active management of office printing can reduce spending by 10 to 30 percent in hard-dollar costs.”
When organizations first add up the costs of printing – printer maintenance and replacement, consumable supplies like paper and ink or toner cartridges, and IT support and management for the company’s printer network – many are surprised to find that it can add up to 15% to annual office overhead costs.
Jared Hansen, CEO and founder of Breezy, thinks that hard-dollar costs are only a part of the reason that print management delivers important results. “Unmanaged printing represents an
unsustainable waste of resources,” Hansen says. “Allowing anyone with access to the company’s printers to print whatever they want is an efficiency drain that encourages waste. More importantly, it’s a risk to security and compliance for many organizations.”
Going Green by Managing Printing
One reason that organizations adopt print management tools is to reduce paper use as part of a company’s desire to reduce its environmental footprint. Considering only the amount of paper used, without other factors such as power, toner and ink, here’s a rough calculation of the environmental impact of reducing the total number of pages printed.
- It takes 24 mature trees (approximately 20 years old) to create one ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing or office paper.
- The “average” American office with 100 employees uses a ton of paper every month.
In other words, even a small office, with just 100 employees, can save 75 trees per year by reducing the total number of sheets used by just 26%! Print management solutions, such as pull printing or rules that enforce duplexing, can often reduce paper consumption by that much or more, without requiring employees to do without the printed sheets they actually need.
Controlling Costs by Managing Printing
There are two kinds of green at stake when it comes to unmanaged printing: the environmental cost, and the hard-dollar costs. Hansen says, “The definition of print management is broad, but its most important benefit is the visibility it gives you into who’s printing on your company printers, what they’re printing, and how much it’s costing you.”
Top print management solutions help organizations manage the total cost of managing and optimizing printers and their output, including:
- Pages produced by office workers, mobile workers and
production print operations
- Office desktop printers, multifunction printers,
copiers, fax machines and high-volume printers
- IT help desk support, technical service, maintenance,
and add, move and change requests
- Paper, ink, toner and other supplies and consumables
Excess printing – that is the cost of printing black and white documents on color printers, using color printing for draft documents that don’t need to be in color and non-essential printing unrelated to someone’s job functions – can incur significant costs. This is especially true for education, where students need access to the school or university’s printers, but that access needs to be controlled.
Many organizations find that printer costs and waste go down dramatically when they begin tracking employee usage by individual, office or department, and reporting printer usage costs as a budget line item for each department.
Security and Compliance Concerns
Once upon a time, the only security and compliance concern organizations faced with their printer network was the risk of someone finding confidential documents sitting on top of a network printer. That often led to employees using desktop printers (which often cost as much as five times more per page than shared network printers) because they needed to print private documents on a regular basis and couldn’t take the risk of sending them to the busy network printer down the hall.
What’s more, in 2011, the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that any device with storage and processing capabilities could be considered a computer under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 USC §1030), or CFA – and In 2012, in United States v. Kramer, the Fourth Circuit Court specifically named printers and mobile devices like watches, smartphones and
MP3 players as being subject to the CFA.
As a result, Hansen says, compliance has become an issue for any organization that owns a printer, especially if they also allow printing from mobile devices. “Over the last three years, adoption of enterprise print management technology has really taken off, as companies have realized the important security and compliance issues that a print management solution can offer – especially when combined with a secure mobile printing solution.”
Secure Mobile Printing & More
Breezy’s secure mobile printing solution is fully integrated with leading enterprise print management solutions including Equitrac, uniFLOW, PaperCut, Ringdale’s FollowMe, SafeCom and more.
For customers, a tight integration between the leading secure mobile printing solution and the print management solution they already use means:
- Single Sign On (SSO) credentials for end users
- Fast, hassle-free set-up and installation
- No learning curve for end users or administrators
- Complete print management and security from any device to any printer
“With print management and optimization solutions from a leading vendor, plus Breezy’s secure mobile printing, IT can roll out printing security for all network devices in minutes, making it very easy for everyone to print securely,” Hansen concludes.
For more information about how to add secure mobile printing to your organization, download a
datashee on Breezy for Enterprise. For more information on secure mobile printing, download a copy of The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.
Photo credit: The phograph of hands typing on an iPad is by Karola Riegler Photography, and was offered on Flicker under a Creative Commons License.