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UniPrint Survey Report: Major Printing Issues Landscape in 2016

By Gaynor Wong, Marketing Specialist, UniPrint.net on January 30, 2017

Printers and printing present a wide range of issues for users. Printing may be too slow, wait times may be too long, and security may be nonexistent. Sometimes, organizations just lack the ability to provide printing for their mobile users.

To get better insight into people’s major printing issues, we conducted a survey in 2016 in which we asked users what their major printing issues were in their printing environment and if they even had any. The survey was conducted at half a dozen major tradeshows we had attended over the course of the year. In total, there were 1557 people who were surveyed.

Top Printing Issues of 2016

Interestingly enough, the top three major printing issues in both EMEA and North America were mobile printing, print security and having too many print queues. Below you can see the summary of survey results for users in North America compared to EMEA.

UniPrint-Trade-Show-Survey-Printing-Issues-2016

Mobile Printing

In no surprising way, mobile printing was the number one issue in many people’s printing environments, with 35% of users in EMEA and 28% in North America.

The world is increasingly becoming mobile and cloud-based, and most organizations have yet to implement a viable mobile printing solution into their environment. As most smartphones and tablets weren’t designed with mobile printing in mind, most mobile printing software has yet to catch up at the same pace as mobile operating systems have.

Fortunately, there are third party mobile printing applications that can help solve these printing pains by sending a print job right from your mobile device to a virtual print queue and then securely releasing it at your selected printer. 

Print Security

Print security was the second most selected problem users faced in 2016. As many of you may know, network printers can be a serious security liability. These shared output devices often handle sensitive information, especially in certain verticals like healthcare or finance.

Simple printers, like the ones used at a remote home office environment usually will have fewer security issues, but more advanced multi-function printers in an office environment will have greater threats for security breaches like document theft, unauthorized changes to settings, recovered saved copies on the internal store of stolen MFPs, and printer hacking via the network or internet.

So what are some ways to fix these print security issues?

  • Increasing the physical security of your printers can help prevent theft or snooping and misuse of your printer’s USB connections.
  • Try and place your printers in an open area that is seen and accessible to all users.
  • Incorporating some form of encrypted pull printing software and print appliance, along with a security PIN, will allow users to print securely and on-demand, eliminating the need worry about document theft.

Too Many Print Queues

Not surprisingly. 17% of EMEA and 16% of North America users voted having too many print queues was a major printing issue. This is especially challenging in large enterprises which typically have a higher ratio of printers to users.

By implementing one virtual print queue into your printing environment, users will no longer have to decipher different printer names and risk their confidential reports being picked up by somebody else. They now have the  freedom to control their printing on demand, wherever they want..

Major Printing Issue Outlier

Being able to quickly print documents from anywhere is a huge requirement for most global organizations today. With more workers now working from remote locations, it is interesting to see that EMEA (5%) and North America (15%) had quite a large difference in slow printing issues.

In North America, it could simply just be an issue with geographical distances and network connections, where was in EMEA they may not have as much of a problem. 

What are your thoughts on this printing issue outlier? 

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