With the proliferation of desktop and network-printing devices, document printing has become second nature for most office users, and in many ways taken for granted. Nevertheless, the number of printer-related support issues continues to grow. Printing is not always convenient for knowledge workers – particularly in large businesses where printers are shared by multiple users and large work teams.
Research studies continue to show that printing is a major source of time consumption for office workers and IT staff. According to a study published by Kyocera:
The average IT department spends one-third of its time dealing with office printing issues, and nearly 25% of office workers say they spend more than half their time on printing.
Once a printer goes offline, it can send worker productivity spiraling downward. One common problem is that printers are frequently inaccessible. To manage usage more effectively, IT departments often restrict users to specific network printing devices that have been designated for use by workgroup or department.
But what happens when the network printer is busy, down for service, or simply in need of resources such as paper or toner?
It is not uncommon to find multiple users queued up at the network printer waiting to retrieve their print job, which is unacceptable in today’s fast-paced business environment. Knowledge workers demand instant access to business-critical information, whether in digital or hard copy format.
Flexible print solutions improve security and productivity
To help address these issues, businesses are deploying powerful print management solutions with Follow-You Printing functionality to allow for more seamless and secure device access while placing control back in the hands of the individual user. Follow-You Printing solutions work by holding print jobs in a secure print server until they are released by the user. The technology allows users to authenticate themselves with a PIN or by swiping an ID card at the network printer of their choice; regardless of the location and anywhere on the network they choose.
Once authenticated, the user can select a job for printing, move print jobs up in the queue or delete print jobs that are no longer needed. Most Follow-You Printing solutions work across all print infrastructures, device brands and types, and geographic boundaries, with no compromise to control and security. At the same time, these solutions provide further benefits to the organization by reducing print waste, supporting worker mobility, and eliminating risks associated with print jobs left unattended in the output tray.
Once freed from reliance on a specific printer, users have access to documents when and where they are needed and can avoid the inconvenience of printers that are busy or out of service. It is all about keeping information accessible, which should be the hallmark of any effective document output strategy.