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Printing and your small business

What you need to know.

Johannesburg, 10 Jan 2022
Read time 4min 10sec
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There are many things that small business owners often fail to consider when buying printers. The pandemic has resulted in a fundamental shift in the way we work, which also necessitates revisiting the way businesses should look at our printing requirements. From the rise of cyber attacks giving greater need for printer security to the hidden costs and contractual considerations when buying printers, these are some of the things every organisation should keep in mind before buying a printer or getting tied up in a long-term contract. 

Print in a post-pandemic world

In today’s digital business environment, employees need to be able to work flexibly, securely and be able to collaborate remotely. But using outdated technology can have a significant impact on employee productivity. A modern printing solution can go a long way in improving productivity, making collaboration seamless, streamlining workflows and bringing the digital and physical worlds together in smarter ways.

With the HP Smart App, for example, you don’t even need a scanner. You can simply take a picture of a document using the app on a mobile device and share it to the cloud or via e-mail. HP Smart then optimises the image and allows you to quickly save, send or print from virtually anywhere.

With more employees working from home, some businesses have downscaled their in-house printing capabilities while providing their work-from-home employees with desktop printers. However, the Digital Corporation in South Africa 2021 study found that 64% of South African enterprises expect all staff to make a full return to the workplace. While there is currently no consensus about the future of remote work, businesses might soon need to take a second look at their office printing needs.

The need for printer security

Printers are often overlooked when it comes to cyber security, but with more employees working from home, it’s important to know that documents being sent to printers can be compromised and expose sensitive business information without anyone knowing. Cyber criminals can also use printers as an easy access point to an entire business network.

In 2018, the CyberNews security team managed to hack 56% of the 50 000 printers they targeted to raise awareness around inadequate printer security. With so many printers vulnerable to attack, it is crucial for employees – especially those working remotely and without firewalls – to use devices from trusted providers that offer embedded endpoint protection. HP Secure Print ensures that print data is always encrypted, provides anti-malware and firmware protection, and prevents unauthorised access to printing devices, sensitive documents or print jobs that remain on the server.

Read the fine print

When it comes to the hidden costs and complexities of buying a printer, it’s not always black and white. Businesses looking for the cheapest solution often find themselves paying for it when they receive poor maintenance and service. On the other hand, businesses should also look out for paying for more than what they are getting. Salespeople sometimes oversell a product and service that under-delivers, which is why it is important to partner with a trusted provider who can take care of printing needs reliably.

Businesses should always compare their buying options carefully. The initial cost price of a printer, for example, only paints part of the picture. What cartridges come with the device and how soon will you need to replace them? You also need to weigh the costs of minimum billing, click charges and whether the product comes with a reliable maintenance plan.

HP Device as a Service is a bespoke service for enterprises that helps IT reduce the cost and complexity of device life cycle management. It covers all aspects of device acquisition and life cycle management, and even uses AI-driven analytics to optimise IT spending.

The future of print

There is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution for print. Colour, image quality, cloud and connectivity capabilities, print volume or page coverage – every organisation, and even different departments, have different printing needs. With a range of industry-leading products and services from HP, Tarsus Distribution helps organisations tailor a print solution to their unique use cases. HP’s offering is not only innovative and reliable, but also has a sustainable impact on our environment.

If you’re looking for a partner to help your business with its technological journey and provide you with technologies that are smarter, more secure and sustainable, schedule a one-on-one consultation with us today: Take care of your business technology – Tarsus Distribution

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