As the work force becomes increasingly mobile, practical print from anywhere solutions must be incorporated in to company infrastructures
The employees of many modern companies are increasingly mobile. While there are still workers who remain static and desk bound, many workers in reality are being liberated from their desks by the advent of new technology.
Freedom of movement
The days when it was the preserve of salesmen and senior management to leave the office during the work day are long gone thanks to this modern technology, which now gives many workers the ability to do their jobs at home, at a client site, or even in an internet cafe. So long as they have internet access and a suitable device, they can work anywhere. Many companies therefore have embraced flexible working practices, and consequently, printer strategies have to adapt to the increasingly mobile workforce. This is turn has led to the arrival of mobile printing solutions, which give office workers as well as individual mobile users the ability to print emails, web pages, maps, photos, and documents (Google Docs, Microsoft Office, PDF files) when they are travelling for business, or working remotely, or even just visiting friends and family.
In today’s modern workplace, the need for a flexible back-office solution is an important one, as mobile workers tend to demand the same level of access to company infrastructure and equipment, including its outputting capabilities, no matter where they are located. Workers now have access to an increasing number of mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. These devices are pretty much universally found in nearly all businesses and offices nowadays. Wireless networks are also playing a part, with many offices now offering an internal Wi-Fi network. Outside the office there are plenty of Wi-Fi hotspots and 3G networks. And at home many people use home-based Wi-Fi networks, all of which means that both workers and individual users are now easily able to connect back to their printer or MFP (multi function printer). Indeed, IDC predicted that 2011 would be a good year for printing applications because of the proliferation of wireless networks, and this is proving to be the case. Prior to the arrival of mobile printing applications however, many people wishing to output or print material would typically have to email the material back to their office or home based-PC, in order to print or even scan a document. This was a time consuming and often tedious process, and now these people are increasingly approaching their IT departments, and asking for a way to print documents and pictures, or even web pages, directly from their mobile device. Some printer vendors are responding to this demand for a flexible back-office, and are now offering people the ability to print their documents from their mobile devices. It is important to note that this is not just for companies and their staff, but it is also suitable for individual users and consumers with a printer back at home. It is also ideally suited for SOHO users, SMBs, and even enterprise organisations.