What is the Cloud?
The cloud is essentially the internet – it’s made up of a network of servers that store information. It’s quite likely that you already use the cloud without realising it, especially if you have an email account through one of the most popular providers.
Collaboration products like Google Docs (where multiple people can access and edit the same document) use the cloud, as do storage solutions like Dropbox. The idea is that you do not need to store items on a particular device that you own, so it frees up memory while making documents/items more easily accessible. You just need access to the internet.
Benefits of Cloud Printing
Cloud printing has a huge number of benefits, both by making your workplace more efficient and creating opportunities that traditional printing just can’t offer.
- Print from smartphones and tablets –businesses are using these devices more often, and transcribing notes or just emailing them to another account can be time consuming. Cloud printing renders it completely unnecessary – you can just print straight from your iPhone, Android device, tablet, or Blackberry.
- A wide range of printers available – practically any printer can be used for cloud printing – over 90 manufacturers create products that can be used for cloud printing, and the numbers are constantly increasing.
- Print any major file type – you can print anything without having to install the necessary software to your mobile device. This is great if you receive an email but can’t open it at the time.
- Use any printer – you don’t need to install print drivers like you would on a desktop or PC, which means that you can use any printer you’d like.
- No software – you also don’t need to download any particular software to get it up and running. Just run the programme in your web browser.
- Software updates are automatic – these happen in real time, so everybody has the most up to date version and always has access to the most current benefits.
- Record print jobs – while there is a huge amount of flexibility, cloud printing also offers a lot of control. You can easily monitor who prints, when, and how to monitor your print usage.
- Remove printers immediately – if a printer has a fault or you simply don’t want people to use it, you can remove it from the system in an instant.
- Cloud printing can be set up easily, even by non-technical users.
- No local server to maintain – meaning that cloud printing is far less costly than investing in a full IT infrastructure for your business.
How Hard is it to Implement Cloud Printing?
Implementing cloud printing at your business is incredibly simple – you don’t need to install your printer with a PC connection or a print driver, it just needs to be registered with cloud print services. Once that’s done, it’s ready to start printing.
When you want to print, just navigate to the relevant area of your menu (this varies according to your device, programme, and manufacturer) and select your printer. It may appear as the printer name or as [Cloud Provider] Cloud Printer. You will need an internet connection to do this (wifi or 3/4G), but that’s it!