The Role of Printing in the Post-PC Era

Posted on June 30, 2015

There's no question that we're in the post-PC era. A look at a recent presentation by Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz has all the stats. Here are a few data points among the most mind-boggling in a document filled with amazing data that shows how mobile technology is becoming universal.

Prat Agarwal, director of business development at Breezy, says that it's past time to accept the advantages that our mobile devices bring with them. "I am often asked whether the number of pages printed will decrease as more and more people switch to mobile devices as their primary platform," he says. "I think that the number of pages printed will decrease, but nearly every mobile device user has printed a document in the past 30 days. Printers are not going away anytime soon. The decline in the number of printed pages is much slower than anyone predicted for the simple reason that there is still a vital need for printed documents in the workplace."

Quocirca's research reveals growing interest in mobile printing with 83% of organizations indicating they are interested in mobile print capabilities. Yet only 14% have deployed a mobile print solution, reflecting not only the lower priority assigned to mobile printing but also a potential lack of understanding on what solution meets the business needs.

"Without a secure, IT-approved way to quickly print from a mobile devices, employees will resort to shadow IT, bypassing IT to use alternative consumer printing apps," Agarwal notes. "We simply can't afford to ignore these risks."

Recent Quocirca research shows that 70% of organizations have experienced one or more accidental data breaches through printing. Breezy, which is mentioned as one of the leading vendor-independent secure mobile printing solutions in the 2015 Quocirca report on mobile printing, uses on-device encryption and integration with all of the leading EMM platforms to protect data being printed from mobile devices.

Enabling Access Without Inviting an Attack

One fact that enterprise IT has to live with is that employees live in a mobile, app-driven world where people expect immediate access to information and IT services " including printing. As it has become easier for people to share and act on data, they've come to rely on the ability to make quick decisions.

Of course, instant access to information means that sensitive and confidential information is increasingly digital and networked " and subject to attack.  So how can IT enable access without inviting an attack" Printer manufacturer HP says that more than 90% of organizations have security practices for desktops, laptops, and servers, but only 44% have formal security practices for printers. So, Agarwal says, the first step is to see where the security holes in your multi-function printer fleet are, and make plans to close them.

The good news is that nearly 60% of all security breaches are accidental, according to the Ponemon Institute's 2014 Cost of a Data Breach study. Prevent these security accidents, Agarwal says, by offering employees an easy-to-use, secure way to print from their mobile devices with a secure mobile printing solution from Breezy and one of the leading EMM providers like AirWatch, Citrix, Good Technology, IBM and MobileIron.

Recent IDC research suggests a company with more than 1,000 employees spends more than $200 per employee in direct hard-copy costs " and that number is increasing slightly as mobile devices proliferate, not declining. "A cost-benefit analysis for a secure mobile printing solution can quickly show top management why it's a worthwhile addition to your budget," Agarwal says. "Many of our customers are surprised when they see just how favorable the numbers can be."

How Many Employees are "At the Office"?

How many of your company's employees are "at the office" today? If your business is typical, then Forrester Research says that the number is probably somewhere just shy of 66%. That means that a third of them are at customer sites, traveling, working from home, or otherwise mobile. But that's changing rapidly.

The number of mobile workers in the U.S. will rise from 96.2 million to 105.4 million over the next five years. By 2020 mobile workers will account for nearly three-quarters (72.3 percent) of the U.S. workforce, according to a report from IDC. That's because mobile workforces allow for lower real estate costs, extended geographic reach, and enable the flexible work schedules employees want.

But, Agarwal says, it's not just mobile workers who need to print from mobile devices.  "With BYOD the norm, nearly every employee will need to print a time-sensitive document or file from a mobile device," he says. "This is why more companies are turning to user friendly secure mobile printing solutions like Breezy that allow you to protect the network and sensitive business information without making it hard for your employees."

Quocirca reports that 83% of enterprises are interested in mobile print capabilities, but only 14% have deployed a mobile print solution. If you're among the majority, you can deliver secure mobile printing to all of your employees in just minutes with Breezy's secure mobile printing solutions for the enterprise.

Breezy delivers device and operating system agnostic secure mobile printing with on-device encryption for smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems. For more information on mobile device security and secure mobile printing, watch this video from Breezy, download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook, or click here to schedule a Breezy demo now.

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