Increasing workforce mobility, a need for mobile and cloud printing support
Back in 2013, the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted that by 2015 there would be 1.3 billion mobile workers, amounting to 37% of the worldwide workforce. And this number is only increasing, with many workers using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to do their work in the office, at home, or on-the-go.
As more employees routinely handle business documents on mobile devices, their need to print from these devices increases as well. A recent IDC study found that smartphone and tablet users expect their share of printing from smartphones and tablets to increase from 20 to 21% today to 28 to 30% in three years.
So what does this mean for businesses? It means they will need to further mobilize their workforce by providing mobile printing infrastructures. According to the same IDC study, 75% of users say the business value of mobile printing is similar to PC printing, and another 15% say it’s actually greater.
Roadblocks to mobile and cloud printing
The notion of mobile printing is not new, and with growing popularity, more mobile device users are growing aware of its benefits. However, there still exists a large portion of businesses and mobile workers who choose to forgo mobile printing, or who are unable to use it due to the lack of or poor quality of the support infrastructure.
Low awareness only accounts for a small portion, with only 4 to 5% of IT decision makers completely unaware of mobile and cloud printing, according to a Samsung study. Forty percent of IT decision makers are well aware of mobile and cloud printing, but only 8% of those reported actually using the solutions. Of the factors that prevented 32% of respondents from adopting cloud printing, security concerns were the major barrier.Fear exists over the possibility of data and information breaches as documents flow to and from mobile devices through wireless connections.
Additional reasons for not using mobile and cloud printing included poor usability and printing quality, with 22% of IT decision makers who are well aware of mobile printing and 35% of those well aware of cloud printing, not using either service due to the assumption that it would be a complicated process.
Removing the barrier, ensuring quality and security
Despite the barriers to usage, the desire to adopt these solutions exists: according to IDC, 35% of smartphone users and 34% of tablet users cannot print from their devices, but want to. To remove usage barriers, mobile and cloud printing solution providers are constantly upgrading their solutions.
For one, registration and device connection can be a long and tedious process, comprising as many as seven steps. Samsung Printing Solutions, for instance, reduced the number of steps to three. Establishing the initial connection between printer and mobile device is made simple with NFC technology that only requires tapping the mobile device on the printer.
Security features are also being improved. Major cloud printing service providers now uniformly provide automatic encryption between the mobile device and the printer to protect wireless networks from unwelcomed users, while some choose to take one step further by offering a pull printing feature that allows only authenticated users to release protected print jobs at the printer. Constant firmware updates also provide up-to-date protection.
In addition to strengthening the basics, some providers have incorporated additional features, such as in-app document editing functions, to close the gap between mobile printing and what is expected from conventional PC printing. For example, Samsung’s cloud printing app includes preview and edit functions and even removal of selected pages of a document. It also ensures the same printout quality as that of PC printing, with its in-cloud rendering technology.
As with any other innovative technology, there are still issues and concerns that businesses harbor over adopting mobile and cloud printing. However, with the increasing growth in workforce mobility and progressive improvements made in mobile solutions, it is safe to say that mobile and cloud printing is here to stay.
To meet this growing need, Samsung Printing Solutions is continuing to invest in its mobile and cloud solutions, taking into consideration, above all, the user’s experience. Ensuring ease of use in the entire process from installation to output and storage, the company is working to remove the barriers that exist for end users and businesses alike. There are also plans to upgrade its cloud printing service, Samsung Cloud Print, to allow users to enjoy a seamless document workflow.
Mobility is today’s answer to enterprise productivity. The advantages are clear, and a diverse array of solutions is not only available, but continually evolving. With many options out there for mobile and cloud solutions, the informed user can make the right choice.