What is serverless printing?
Serverless printing is a relatively new trend in the print industry, and it’s already changing the way we think about managing print servers. Serverless printing is quickly becoming a necessity for companies of all sizes, so understanding what serverless printing is and how it works will help you manage your print fleet with ease.
Serverless printing means that you’re outsourcing your print management to a vendor, who takes care of managing your print fleet on your behalf. This frees you from the hassle of installing, configuring, and maintaining a printer environment. It also allows you to save money – since vendors can often save you as much as 70% compared to in-house managed print fleets. Serverless printing means storing documents on the web and printing them directly via a web browser. There are lots of different models for “serverless” print management. It can be self-hosted by your organization in a private cloud. Or it can be fully hosted in the public cloud under a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) subscription.
The bottom line is that cloud printing offers a number of advantages. However, wherever you’re hosted, whether it’s in the cloud or on-premises, you need to know what serverless printing is, how it works and why you should use it.
The advantages of serverless printing
- No maintenance – No print server means no print server maintenance. This makes sense for modern workplaces with a naturally small amount of hardware. If you don’t have regular servers, you wouldn’t want to then add a print server in the mix. This is unlocking the magic of full-blown print management for businesses who usually considered it to be exclusively available to enterprise/on-premise print ecosystems.
- Flexibility and scalability – Cloud print management solutions auto-scale up or down depending on your printing needs. If the amount of end-users in your business grows or shrinks, your cloud print service facilitates. This is of paramount significance in a hybrid working world. Lowered print volumes don’t mean you have print servers gathering dust. Eased print flow just means your cloud print solution scales down to suit your needs.
- Reduce costs – Maintaining one print server costs approximately $2-3k (USD) per year. That adds up if you have multiple print servers. Serverless printing provides significant ROI in reducing operational costs including associated spending for hardware maintenance, software provisioning, and administration.
- No IT burden – It’s easier for your IT team to manage your infrastructure if you have fewer servers. Serverless printing reduces administration time, management tasks, and support tickets. Software patches and updates are automatic. Continuous delivery and instantaneous feature deployment mean upgrades take care of themselves. Your print management is therefore one less task for your IT administrators and they can focus on strategic long-term projects rather than the daily admin of print servers.
The disadvantages of serverless printing
- Security – For some cloud print management solutions, there are some questions about the safety and privacy of data: are your documents going off-site when traversing the cloud? Does this leave your business extra vulnerable to security threats? Does a serverless printing solution impact your business’s compliance obligations for regulatory bodies like GDPR, HIPAA, and so forth?
- Reliability – Some cloud print solutions promise dependency but actually introduce more points of failure. Some serverless printing solutions are so tethered to the cloud, that if your desktop/laptop goes offline or the internet is down, it can disturb your printing.
- Performance – The viability of high-powered computing even in personal devices means print documents have become larger and more complicated. Downloading might be quick, but uploading is commonly much slower. If you’re enabling and managing all your printing in the cloud, if you don’t find the right solution, your printing performance may dramatically drop. It’s also worth considering that some cloud solutions don’t have a rich feature set. At least when compared to 20+ years of on-premises print server solutions.
- Control – Depending on your business and printing needs, it’s worth considering that outsourcing the print server role to a cloud service provider means outsourcing control. You, therefore, have no governance over your data location nor the update cycles for the print management software. This is an advantage for some businesses, i.e. part of the service is paying for the service provider to control data, backup, and update cycle. But it’s worth double-checking if this is suitable for your business.
ecoprintQ is proud to present our fully hosted cloud products, PaperCut Hive and PaperCut Pocket. These solutions were designed from the ground up for the public cloud, and are completely serverless, requiring no print server or maintenance. Our Edge Mesh infrastructure combines the best of both worlds, with IoT-inspired technology.
PaperCut Hive is our feature-rich, flagship cloud print solution. It includes MFP embedded software, so you can track and manage printing, copying, and scanning. You can also enable secure print release with the mobile app, an ID card, or a device touchscreen. PaperCut Pocket is our DIY public cloud print solution. It’s easy to set up and manage printing, with secure print release at your printer via the mobile device app.
We are excited to offer these cloud-based solutions, providing users with a secure and efficient way to manage their printing needs. Would you like more about these products? Contact us and schedule a demo, start 2023 with the proper print management package to manage your enterprise!