Mobile printing is the technology that enables users to access printers via their mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. With the proliferation of these smart devices, employees are now increasingly accessing corporate data on-the-go, no longer limited to the physical confines of their office.
The rise of BYOD and bridging the gap with mobile print
With the rising Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, industry analysts estimate that 70% of workers have access to their corporate network using mobile devices (according to a report by InfoTrends in 2011), and over 40% do access their business applications using their personal devices (according to a study done by IDC in 2011). This rapid change in working habits has also brought about three types of workers - mobile, home, and remote.
Mobile workers are employees who are out of office for meetings for majority of their work hours, and home workers are those typically with flexible work hours and are able to work from home. Remote workers represent the group of employees who may have to travel frequently to regional or international offices for their company.
However, even with BYOD on the uptake and a projected 1.3 billion world mobile worker population by 2015, while employees are able to view corporate information on their mobile devices, there is a gap in them being able to print their data securely at output devices within their enterprise networks. A report by Frost & Sullivan in Q1 2012 states that 25% of companies globally rate enterprise mobility projects as a top or very important priority. On the other hand, over 40% of employees globally, states a report by InfoTrends in 2011, do not have access to a printer that they can print from their mobile device, showing a missing link in organizations ensuring convenient and secure mobile printing options for their workers.
Mobile print benefits to both employees and the organization
With a mobile print solution infrastructure in place, employees are able to send a print job securely wherever they are to devices within their enterprise network. This gives them the convenience to print on-the-go at any time, without having to trouble their colleagues to print for them or convert to a compatible file type, which may not be the most secure option if the documents are confidential. Some new technologies that have been developed for added security include validation systems. This safeguards corporate content as users have to authenticate themselves via user confirmation numbers or ID card swipes before the print job is released. Some new convenience features for employees also include support of multiple file types ranging from text files to emails and image files, and integration into different printer systems that may be set up within the office.
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