Benefits of Cloud Printing
The cloud printing industry has been quietly developing alongside the growth of the wider cloud computing industry. In the consumer market, Google’s Cloud Print service has led the way, while in the professional market providers such as Ezeep and UniPrint Infinity are at the forefront of innovation.
We were already speculating that it was more than just a fad as long ago as 2011 – but why is cloud printing becoming so popular? What are its benefits for an end users? CloudTweaks investigates…
Printing from Mobile
In August 2011, IBM executive Mark Dean famously caused a stir when he referred to the world being in a ‘post-PC era’. Of course, rather than predicting the death of the PC, he was instead referring to how people are increasingly using mobile devices when they perform basic activities that are traditionally done on computers. One of these basic tasks is printing.
A Cloud-ready printer does not need to be connected to a PC or to a print driver; the printer is simply registered with cloud print services and awaits jobs sent from mobile devices. Useful for both personal and business users, printing from mobile will become increasingly normalised given the rapid shift to cloud-based applications and data storage.
Use Any Printer from Anywhere
Printers that are specifically recommended for cloud printing can be recognised by the ‘Cloud Printing Ready’ logo and can receive print jobs without being connected to a PC. However, virtually any printer can be used for cloud printing via Google Cloud Print.
This is accomplished through the use of a connector, a small piece of software that runs on a PC where the printer is installed. The connector takes care of registering the printer with Google Cloud Print and waiting for print jobs from the service. When a job arrives, the connector submits it to the printer using the PC operating system’s native printer software, and sends job statuses back to the service.
An obvious downside to this approach is that the PC must be powered on and connected to the Internet in order for print jobs to get to the connector – but on the flip side it will allow you to print from anywhere in the world.
- BYOD Benefits: Employees can use whatever device they have without worrying about drivers. This translates into reduced support, more convenience, and lower costs.
- Software upgrades are automatic, and in real time: You will always be up-to-date with the latest features and fixes at all times.
- The browser and the printer can be on separate networks: This gives flexibility so that someone doesn’t have to first log onto a network. As long as they are connected to the internet any way that works for that device, they can print.
- Simplicity: For non-technical users, the lack software, drivers, and cables, combined with a fast and easy set-up, is considerably more appealing than traditional printing methods
- No local server: From a business perspective, because there is no local server to install and maintain cloud printing is considerably less costly than investing heavily in your own IT infrastructure.
Do you use Google Cloud Print? Has your company implemented cloud printing in your office? Do you think cloud printing is easy or better than traditional printing? Let us know in the comments below.
By Daniel Price