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If Time = Money, What’s the Cost of Mobile Printing Limits?

Posted on Fri, Jul 11, 2014

Secure Mobile Printing GraphicBack in 1748, in his essay Advice to a Young Tradesman, Benjamin Franklin wrote:

“Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, it ought not to be reckoned the only expence; he hath really spent or thrown away five shillings besides.”

Franklin’s point that wasted time often costs more than you might think is still valid today. For instance, what are the productivity costs associated with the limited mobile printing functionality built into most mobile devices?

Some of them are obvious, like the time spent emailing documents to yourself so you can print them from a desktop, or needing to make two trips to a customer site to get a signature because you can’t edit and print a contract, credit application, or other form while you’re there the first time.

Would you pay $1.20 for an employee to read and print a single email? Of course not – but you might already be paying that much (or more) for some of the emails that are sent from an employee’s mobile device to their own email box in order for them to print the email.

According to the Labor Department, the average US office professional earns an hourly wage of $24.31, or about 40 cents per minute. If it takes 5 minutes to read and forward an email attachment from a tablet or smartphone to a desktop or laptop and then print it, every forwarded email would have a direct cost in lost wages of $1.20. That doesn’t take into account the cost of any trips to and from a remote location, of course.

But what happens if the customer changes his mind or gets a lower-cost bid from someone else while he’s waiting for you to send him the document you wanted him to sign? The potential cost of lost opportunities and delays in booking a sale are often higher than the lost wage cost.

Security Risks are the Highest Cost

While the direct costs of time that employees waste dealing with the mobile printing limitations built into iOS and Android devices designed for consumers can mount quickly, it’s the security risk that comes with the unsecured solutions employees often find for the problem that can really be costly.

The average cost of a breach today in the U.S. is $188 per record according to the Ponemon Institute. “It’s like a never-ending circle,” says Jared Hansen, CEO of secure mobile printing leader Breezy.

An IDC report says 75% of tablet and smartphone users expect to increase the number of documents printed from mobile devices, and that smartphone and tablet users are more likely to print than their non-mobile counterparts. By 2016, the total number of pages printed from mobile devices is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12% while the number of pages printed from PCs is expected to decline 5% according to Angèle Boyd, Group VP and General Manager, Imaging/Output Document Solutions at IDC.

Over 63% of the employees surveyed in a Check Point study in June 2013 said that they transferred files from a mobile device to a cloud storage service like DropBox or GoogleDrive so that they could print the document from a computer that wasn’t connected to the company network – and therefore not protected by the company’s security software.

“Companies only have two choices when it comes to mobile printing. Restrict the ability of employees to print from their mobile devices, or secure company data on the devices. Employees don’t want to create security problems – they just want to get the job done,” Hansen says.

If they can’t get the job done quickly and simply, they’ll look for a way to work around their problem. “There are thousands of apps in the public app stores that promise to allow users to print from their mobile devices. And nearly all of them are completely unsecured, leaving company data vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Some of the apps out there actually introduce security vulnerabilities to employee-owned devices that make them easier for hackers to access.”

By providing a secure mobile printing solution, companies eliminate the wasted time employees might otherwise spend transferring documents from one device to another in order to print them, and add an important layer of security to their company data. “At Breezy, we feel strongly that on-device encryption is the best way to protect company data,” Hansen adds.

Breezy is designed from the ground up to be secure, flexible, mobile, and simple to use and deploy. It’s the only product that gives IT complete control over what and where users can print, and protects every document with on-device encryption before transfer via secure channels to the intended printer, plus SSO integration via EMMs and identity federation providers.

For more information on how unsecured mobile printing “workarounds” can put your data at risk, and how Breezy’s integration with leading EMM providers can protect data and save employees time and stress, watch this video from Breezy, or download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.

Tags: secure mobile printing, IT, mobile printing, IT security, cloud printing, BYOD Printing

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