The ins and outs of centralised print management

The ins and outs of centralised print management

Printing still matters, despite the rise of digital technology. Offices of all kinds, across industries, still rely on their printers and multi-function centres (MFCs) as essential parts of their workflows. Your company likely falls into this category, too, with print remaining an ongoing concern.

However, the fact that print can’t be phased out doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Combining the breakthroughs of the digital era with the systems that help your organisation meet its printing needs is one way to create a more efficient, cost-effective business environment overall.

Centralised printing management and the modern office

Managing common printing needs through a single, centralised system is a strategy that’s rising in popularity. CRN noted that the latest wave of Managed Print Services (MPS) implementations are about more than the physical act of printing information on a page. Rather, companies are revolutionising the way they manage their devices. Using the cloud to gain more remote access to printers and multi-function devices is part of an IT modernisation strategy, and it can come with both immediate and long-term benefits.

According to the second edition of Quorica’s Global Print 2025 Study, 73 per cent of companies expect to begin managing their print services remotely. Furthermore, the survey explained that organisations will count on the same partners that provide their printers to work on business process automation, analytics and more. These deeper connections are part of print management in a digital age. Physical printing still exists, but with a pronounced digital component that creates value.

When your company works with an MPS provider that offers centralised print management, you have an opportunity to change several workflows around the office, removing manual steps and granting new capabilities. These show that refreshing your print approach isn’t a future priority or far-off goal: It’s something that can help your business thrive now.

A businessman touches a file icon.
When print management is centralised, flexibility increases appreciably

Problems and solutions for today’s print user

The simplest way to make the business case for centralised print management is to think of the workflows it could improve right now. If you’re looking for a simple way to upgrade several parts of the print experience simultaneously, the answer is simple: Find an MPS partner that offers centralised software tools relevant to your organisation’s needs. The following are a few effects achievable with a quick application of centralised print management software.

Overseeing the whole environment with remote monitoring

It’s normal for a company to have more than one office in today’s highly digital and globalised business climate. If your organisation falls into this category – or if you’re ever called on to manage technology while operating away from the workspace – you need a view of the whole network. Administrative device management software is the answer to these conundrums, granting a live view of any issues afflicting the printers, from a low toner alert to a general performance warning. Metrics such as the status of every printer in the office, the amount of pages printed by day and overall and even real-time environmental impact data are all available from such a streamlined dashboard.

When you’re using an advanced system, you can even set up updates for devices that aren’t networked, bringing these printers into the centralised environment by tracking the way they interface with the PCs that are connected to networked computers. It’s also possible to have these software solutions communicate via email alerts, meaning that even when you’re away from a device that can use the actual control panel, you’ll be informed of the status of the network and therefore ready to respond.

A digital image representing cloud computing.Mainstream adoption of cloud technology has made centralisation of digital services a common approach

Cutting down on headaches with simplified update installation

Checking on whether printers have the latest updates, drivers and firmware is another use for a centralised device manager. These deployments are vital to keep your printers both securely operating at peak efficiency, but when print management is handled on an ad hoc basis, with no MPS partner or centralised view, it can be tough to even keep track of whether the right updates are in place, never mind actually installing the new software. Having access to all printers on your company’s network is the best way to bring this process back under control.

There is another side to updates in addition to keeping printer drivers current. PCs should also have the correct firmware to interact with printers and multi-function devices. Working with an MPS provider that offers helpful software tools to manage and install drivers – and spread them to other computers within the company – allows you to relax and know every device will interact correctly with your PCs.

Boosting security with access control and other protective features

Maintaining the security of a print network can mean several different things. You have to ensure employees have ways to print confidential information securely and send documents that can’t be intercepted. There is also a need to identify who is responsible for print jobs, to ensure unauthorised users aren’t being irresponsible with privileged information. Restricting access to printers to select personnel is another way to make sure only approved documents are printed – and to keep people from wasting resources with print jobs that haven’t been signed off by management.

Centralised print software should contain security features to keep an eye on the status of the company’s print environment. MPS providers can lock down printers on your network so users have to enter a PIN number or use a key card to unlock them. Furthermore, solutions that track the activities of different personnel on the print server allow managers to actively monitor ongoing jobs and ensure the printers are being used responsibly.

Taking the first step to centralised printing

Bringing in an MPS provider can represent a total change in the way your organisation handles its printers and multi-function devices. This partner can take on a variety of functions, based on your needs. Whether you require a way to lease new cutting-edge hardware, a 24/7 maintenance and service provider, software tools to improve the management of your devices or any combination of these services and more, there’s a contract out there for your company.

The first step toward this new model of printing is an assessment to determine the current status of the processes and hardware currently powering your office and potential solutions to your problems. This check may reveal centralised print management features to be the ideal fit for your organisation.

Request a free print assessment and get started on your company’s next steps.


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