Blog: 6 Ways Managed Print Services Rein in the Chaos and Save Money
Considering managed print services? It's not hard to see why. Ask any IT person for the number one reason for service desk calls, and the majority will quickly respond "printer problems" followed closely by "password reset." As if that wasn't enough, printers are frequently the source of security threats and a hidden money waster.
How Did We Get Here Anyway?
Was there ever a comprehensive strategic plan for printing at your organization? Think about it. Companies typically roll out other end-user devices with much strategic forethought. When sourcing equipment like laptops or smartphones for workgroups, much attention is paid to speed, cost, capabilities, user satisfaction, productivity, and business goals. The purchase is considered from a 30-thousand-foot view as to how it fits with the overall strategy. Somehow, printing got a pass on all that. Printers were added here and there to networks as a need was perceived, and some organizations allow managers personal printers in their offices to spare them the walk to a printing room. The result is a fractured hodgepodge of printers scattered throughout organizations creating a system that is rife with waste, redundancy, and security risks. When pressed, many IT leaders will admit they can't tell you exactly how many printers they have, where they all are, or how much money they're losing.
Printers Are a Frequent Security Risk
When you think of network security risks, laptops and smartphones probably come to mind first. But especially with today's multifunction printing devices, printers may be the most vulnerable equipment in the office, but often get the least attention.
Why? It can be easy to forget that printers have processors too and can be used as pawns in DDoS attacks or an access point to an entire network through a single open vector. Printer caches can also contain sensitive customer data that criminals want to get their hands on.
Six out of 10 companies have printers that are not secure, and they're often the cause of data loss.
Waste Goes Way Beyond Paper
We've all seen the stacks of wasted paper sitting in printer trays when a printer has been offline for a while and then spits out everything in the print queue when it comes online again. Then, there are all the workers who print something and then somehow forget to walk over and collect it.
But when you don't have an overarching print strategy, you allow other costly waste too. If there's no brand/model consistency across an organization, then maintenance is more complicated, and multiple types of toner are required. You lose the opportunity to reap the benefits of scale in purchasing.
A fractured and unmanaged printing environment creates needless capacity and the strong likelihood that extra print cartridges will pile up in storerooms forgotten.
6 Reasons Managed Print Services Fix the Problem
IT teams are already overstretched, so requesting they come up with and implement a big-picture printing solution is a big ask. Here's why engaging a managed print services provider will get you to the finish line faster:
1) Comprehensive evaluation and planning – A managed print services provider will come in and install software on your network to track printers and usage across the entire environment long enough to get a comprehensive picture of needs versus capacity before presenting you with a full plan that aligns with your business goals. You'll then know where the redundancy is, where more capacity is needed, and the ROI of switching to managed print services.
2) Procurement, setup, and deployment – If new printing assets are required, your managed print services provider will handle the procurement, setup, and deployment along with any onsite user training and troubleshooting.
3) Security – Printers are set up properly to ensure they're not vulnerable to exploitation.
4) Management and support – Once the managed print services program is in place, you get constant monitoring service with proactive break/fix. Toner levels are monitored, and supplies are automatically dispatched when they're needed. Preventative maintenance is done and you get ongoing reporting and trend analysis. All that leads to much happier end users.
5) Device lifecycle administration – analytics are used to make informed decisions about when printing assets should be replaced, and environmentally friendly disposal/recycling is provided.
6) Save money – Gartner calculates that organizations that use managed print services save between 10 and 30 percent on print costs.
Reach out today if you'd like an evaluation of how our Managed Print Services can keep your business moving – not on hold for help.