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Surprising Print Audit Results Show What Employees Actually Print

Posted on Tue, Aug 05, 2014

What are the workers in your office really printing? Talk to any IT manager, and they’ll say that they have a good handle on what their employees are printing, as well as the costs involved with managing their printer fleets.But a report from Print Manager Insider contains some surprises.

For instance, at banks and financial services companies, Internet printing – that is printing web pages – accounts for almost 60% of the total volume, most of it from Internet Explorer.Web printing, the report says, exceeds Excel printing by 400%.

It wasn’t quite as big a surprise that government employees print nearly twice as many pages per user per day, at 53 pages per user per day. Medical office employees came in second, at just a bit under 51 pages per user, per day. The lowest per-user printers are in education, where the average user prints just 2 pages per user per day.

In education, students don’t print much even when they have access to school-based printers, but when they do nearly all of what they print is web-based.

The Paperless Office Myth

This week Altodigital released a new study of businesses in the U.K. that shows the paperless office remains a myth. In fact, the report says that just 5% of survey respondents believed that they will be paper-free within five years, and just 11% believe the paperless office will arrive in the next 10 years. 76% think that the printed page will remain mission critical to their business operations for the foreseeable future.

Printed business documents are essential to the typical British office for many reasons, the survey says, including:

  • 45% of the survey respondents claimed it’s more convenient to have a hard copy document handy.
  • 30% don’t trust electronic document storage – 90% said they store documents both electronically and in hard-copy form.
  • 33% believe a hard-copy document carries more gravitas, and is more impressive, than an electronic version.
  • 19% thought that going paperless would be too complicated and expensive
  • 15% said they had a “print it out” culture.

Industry analystsIDC predictedthat the number of business documents printed will remain flat through 2017. Tablet and smartphone printers are a big part of the overall print volume in many companies, IDC says, with about half of tablet and smartphone users having access to company print networks by 2015.

Barb Pellow wrote a detailed article last month that outlines many of the ways in which mobile devices are increasing print volumes for packaged goods companies who sell their products at retail stores. Pellow points out that near-field enabled devices (NFE) (smartphones and tablets that can scan codes on retail shelves to get additional product information) now account for up to 90% of new mobile device shipments. This, she says, creates a wealth of communications opportunities for marketers and brand managers, and all of them rely on printed labels and promotional items.

Mobile Printing Challenges: Access & Security

Marketers who want to use printed tools to communicate to mobile devices with NFE capabilities simply have to use traditional print communications tools that include the codes readable by the devices. Companies who want to allow smartphone and tablet users to print within the company’s existing printer network, however, face two significant challenges – access and security.

It’s no secret that workers with mobile devices are more productive. But today’s tablets and smartphones are still designed for consumers, not business users. One of the built-in limits in most devices is a robust, easy to use print function. To get around this limit, workers often turn to Google Play or the iTunes store in search for mobile printing apps for their phone or tablet – and they find them.

In fact, there are more than 1,300 mobile printing apps for the iPad alone. Some are designed for specific purposes (printing checks, or shipping labels, for example), some work with specific printer brands, and some tout themselves as “multi-purpose printing apps”. Only a handful, however, come with the kind of security and printer management functions that businesses want.

“It’s important for growing businesses to have a secure and simple managed approach to mobile printing,” says Breezy CEO Jared Hansen. “Increasingly, that means adopting an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that includes a secure mobile printing tool like Breezy.” Breezy is integrated with all of the leading EMM solutions, including AirWatch, AppSense Mobile Now, Aruba, Citrix, Fiberlink MaaS3600, Good, Mocana, and MobileIron.

“Customers can use Breezy alone for secure mobile printing to public printers in the Breezy Partner network, and to access printers in the office or at an employee’s home,” Hansen says. “But by adding Breezy to an existing EMM solution, larger organizations get even more features. Breezy’s on-device encryption is the best way to protect data from man-in-the-middle attacks, and the single sign on and tracking features enable better cost control and print management.”

For more information about Breezy’s secure mobile printing solution, download a datasheet on Breezy for Enterprise or download a copy of The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.

Tags: secure mobile printing, print management, print audit

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