Managing printer connectivity for a BYOD environment

Managing printer connectivity for a BYOD environment

In a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, printers and multi-function devices (MFDs) are tools users can’t bring and are often an afterthought for IT in their infrastructure planning. This can create a domino effect of problems in the long run with time-consuming printer and scanner driver installations for every device, ongoing IT management of device compatibility/connectivity and security issues and the inability to track, monitor and control printing costs. If you are stuck with these issues for your workplace you can look into the following options.

Google Cloud Print

The simple go-to option for small businesses, it is even easier if your organisation already has Google accounts and are utilising Google’s suite of cloud-based offerings such as Google Drive or Gmail. The Google Cloud Print service can share printers amongst Google accounts in the organisation and prints via Google Chrome or directly from MS Office software by installing a connector.

Key attributes:

  • The service is free, requiring only a Google account, Google Chrome and internet access
  • The print server is hosted by Google – this reduces overall server maintenance costs
  • Remote printing from any location with internet access. For example; a school teacher can print handouts from home to the classroom printer
  • Interoperable between many types of devices and their operating systems – PC, MAC, Android, iOS, Windows Phone
  • Huge time saver for IT with devices entering and leaving the network

It’s an easy option for smaller workgroups who are predominantly concerned about compatibility and connectivity and not so much about the tracking and monitoring of print jobs.

Print Management Systems

For large organisations like universities, schools or enterprise workplaces with BYOD policies, it’s advisable to look for a partner who provides print management software, especially for security, user access and cost control requirements that need to be met for a large number of users and devices. These providers generally offer a wide range of management tools and software that can be customised to integrate with your existing IT infrastructure as well.

Key attributes:

  • Security measures are built into the management software which can encrypt data in the print jobs, in the case of a security breach
  • Print usage and function controls so your IT can have their hands on the dial to limit paper wastage and consumable costs
  • Offers confidentiality when printing sensitive documents with features such as secure pull print and follow me printing
  • User accounts can be easily managed and created for guest accounts via web admin portals
  • Users can print from multiple devices without the need to install drivers on each device

The cost for this option is slowly decreasing with a number of services like this being run in the cloud, which means lower infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Both Google Cloud Print and Print Management providers solve the connectivity and installation headaches for IT departments and are able to scale with the devices entering and leaving the network. The key differences are cost, security and account management capabilities with Print Management software.

For more information on how Brother and our partners can assist you with connectivity and management of printers in your BYOD environment visit our corporate solutions website or contact us for a free print assessment so we can recommend a tailored solutions for your business.


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