In 1975, Business Week Magazine published an article called The Office of the Future. That article predicted that the paperless office ? where computers shared information across a vast network, and no one needed to print hard copies any longer ? would be a reality before the end of the 20th century.
One reason, according to futurists interviewed for the article, was that smaller devices would allow people to access files when they weren't at the office, thereby reducing the need for printed documents. Many of the predictions from that old article did come true. But, like the flying car and vacations on Mars, the paperless office is one prediction that hasn't materialized.
In fact, mobile devices are actually driving investment in printing technology. An IDC report earlier this year confirmed this trend, reporting that 75% of tablet and smartphone users expect to increase the number of documents printed from mobile devices and that smartphone and tablet users are more likely to print than their non-mobile counterparts. "While total U.S. mobile pages are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12% during the 2012-16 forecast period, non-mobile pages will decline 5%," said Ang�le Boyd, Group VP and General Manager, Imaging/Output Document Solutions at IDC.
According to a report prepared by KPCB, tablet shipments surpassed desktop PCs and notebooks in the fourth quarter of 2012, less than 3 years after the introduction of the original iPad.
32% of employees globally now rely on more than one mobile device during the typical workday. The truth is that printing is a basic productivity tool for most businesses, and most workers expect to be able to print from any work device. So it came as no surprise when British technology analyst TechNavio reported earlier this year that printing is the single most requested feature in mobile devices.
"Many users assume they can simply click 'print' from their tablet or smartphone and print to their normal workplace printer," TechNavio says. "But that isn't the case with most mobile devices. IT has misjudged both the security risks posted by mobile printing and the demand for it, creating a growing problem for many companies."
The desire for mobile printing creates a security problem for many companies. Over 63% of the employees surveyed in a Check Point study in June 2013 said that they transferred files from a mobile device to a cloud storage service like DropBox or GoogleDrive so that they could print the document from a computer that wasn't connected to the company network ? and therefore not protected by the company's security software.
There are many everyday business applications for printing. Think of these common scenarios:
Of course, there are many other day-to-day business activities where the ability to print from a mobile device can save time and money. For more information about how a secure mobile printing solution from Breezy can help your company take full advantage of BYOD and mobile devices, get in touch to request a demo.
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