Managed Print

Serverless Printing: How it Works and Why You Need It

Serverless Printing: How it Works and Why You Need It

by Obi Nwaneri - August 24, 2023

Serverless printing offers unparalleled efficiency and adaptability compared to traditional print systems. Gone are the days of bulky servers and strained IT departments. In its place is a modern approach to printing that puts most of the work onto the cloud, streamlining operations and making your team more productive.

But how can a serverless printing solution benefit your business? How does a serverless system operate, and what advantages does it have over traditional print solutions? Let’s explore those questions and more.

The Need for Serverless Printing Solutions in Modern Business

Serverless printing isn’t just a trendy buzzword. Adding a serverless printing solution to your business can help reduce the need for printer maintenance and the strain on your IT department while, more importantly, adding some additional efficiency to your workplace.

Let’s explore three key reasons why modern businesses should consider a serverless option for printing.

1. Cost Efficiency

Cost is always a consideration when it comes to choosing which print solution is right for your business. With the average office using 12 trillion sheets of paper per year, cost saving here can prove significant. Here are a few reasons why serverless printing offers an advantage:

  • Traditional Print Management Costs - Traditional in-house printing often involves purchasing and maintaining expensive servers and software licenses. Other hidden costs, like updates and hardware maintenance, make these print solutions expensive.
  • Serverless Shift - Switching to serverless printing can significantly reduce operational costs. By outsourcing print management, businesses can forgo upfront costs and unpredictable maintenance expenses.
  • ROI Realization - Over time, the return on investment (ROI) becomes clear. Without the need for maintenance, print cost jobs reduce significantly. Furthermore, there’s no need for periodic server replacement, which can be substantial in the long run.

2. Flexibility and Scalability

Having flexible and scalable solutions that grow with your business is the key to sustainability and resilience. So, when it comes to serverless printing solutions, you’ll find a few key reasons why these advanced printing services offer such incredible benefits:

  • Responding to Change - As your company grows, or shrinks, so do your printing needs. Traditional print solutions often need substantial investment to scale up or result in wasted time and resources.
  • Auto-Scaling Capabilities - Serverless printing automatically scales with your organization. Whether the number of end-users grows or reduces, serverless architecture can adapt effortlessly. 
  • Hybrid Workplaces - With 28% of workers in hybrid environments, having flexible print solutions is essential. Serverless printing ensures your team can access print services no matter where they are in the world.

3. IT Simplification

One of the key advantages of implementing a serverless print solution is the work it takes off your IT department’s plate. To help you understand this more deeply, here are a few more reasons why serverless printing lessens the strain on your IT department:

  • Less IT Overhead - In-house printing requires a dedicated IT team. This ultimately puts a strain on your team’s resources and time. With serverless printing, this burden becomes essentially non-existent. 
  • The Advantage of Outsourcing - With serverless printing, the responsibility of managing the print fleet shifts to the vendor. A transition like this can lead to fewer support tickets, lesser administration time, and can virtually eliminate tasks related to print management.
  • Automatic Updates - One significant challenge associated with traditional print solutions is keeping software updated. Serverless printing offers automatic patch updates and feature deployments, ensuring your system is always up and running.

Demystifying Serverless Printing

While the term serverless might make you think this approach to printing happens without servers, that’s not quite the case. In reality, serverless refers to the abstraction of servers.

In the world of printing, this means shifting away from more traditional print solutions that rely on server infrastructure toward streamlined, cloud-based approaches. To help you understand this concept, let’s dive into the intricacies of serverless, managed print services.

What Does Serverless Mean?

When you see the word serverless, don’t mistake this to mean an absence of servers. Instead, it is a catch-all term that describes the change from maintaining and operating servers in-house to leveraging third-party cloud infrastructure.

This approach is all about optimizing operational efficiency. A serverless print system reduces the tasks and costs associated with server management, maintenance, and scaling.

Key Components of Serverless Printing

When it comes to the components that support a serverless managed print solution, there are a few key elements that you should understand when exploring this approach. Here is what you need to know:

  • Cloud Infrastructure - This is the backbone of a serverless solution. Serverless manages all print jobs, user authentication, and other essential data on the cloud, ensuring a seamless print experience without on-premise infrastructure.
  • Print Management Software - Software is the brain behind the operation. It handles everything from job routing to print settings. The software resides on the cloud, not on a local machine.
  • End-User-Devices - These can be a tablet, a smartphone, a laptop, or other connected device. Regardless, serverless print services make it easy for users to print from wherever they are, so long as they have access to the Internet.
  • Printers - Advanced printers, like multifunctional printers, usually have serverless compatibility built-in. This enables them to retrieve and print documents directly from the cloud.

Step-By-Step Overview

Okay, now that we understand what components make up a serverless print solution, how do they all work together to get jobs from end-user devices to a printer? Here is a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. A user initiates a job from their device through either a web portal, a dedicated app, or through traditional print dialogues.
  2. Once the user sends the job, the cloud-based management software processes it. This might involve changing formats or compressing data for better efficiency.
  3. Next, the software determines the best printer for the job based on several factors, such as location, specific job requirements, and availability.
  4. To ensure robust security, especially in sensitive data environments, users then authenticate themselves via PINs, QR codes, or even biometric methods.
  5. Lastly, once authenticated, the printer receives the job from the cloud and prints it out for the user.

That’s a quick exploration of the serverless print process. To better understand your specific needs and how serverless approaches might fit into your business, consider a print assessment. This can help you better understand your printing needs and provide visibility into all your print-related tasks.

Is Serverless Printing Right for You?

Embracing the change to serverless printing can pave the way for greater efficiency and productivity. Managed print services offer a fresh and modern approach to print operations that will ensure your team stays agile in an increasingly competitive and digital world.

But, as with any significant change, it’s essential to assess serverless printing solutions thoroughly. In doing so, you’ll better position yourself for growth and success in the future.

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