Five Ways IT Can Help Save Money by Printing Smarter

Leverage Mobile Devices and Cloud Solutions

In the past, printing was limited to jobs sent from traditional computing devices. Sending print jobs from only desktop PC’s can cost valuable time. Most business users today are mobile. Companies can often realize efficiencies by deploying mobile printing devices and apps. Many modern printers and free software utilities, such as Apple AirPrint™ and Google Cloud Print™, allow wireless printing from popular smartphones and tablets.

Use Software Solutions for Cost Recovery and Security

Output management software can help control costs and reduce paper usage. Organizations can frequently maximize cost savings and productivity through print management/cost recovery solutions to automate a range of print, copy, and scan tasks including usage tracking, cost allocation, quota setting/enforcement, secure printing, and job redirect with reporting.

Explore Industry-Specific Applications

Consider industry-specific applications to help improve processes, compliance and security. For example, health care organizations can deploy software that securely integrates printing and scanning with electronic medical records (EMR) or claims management systems, enabling sensitive data to be securely communicated with the appropriate people.

Assess Today’s Needs, Not Yesterday’s

Assess your environment and acquire technology for today’s needs, not yesterday’s. Avoid leasing or buying expensive super-sized machines with unnecessary options. A3 printing (11×17) is estimated to only account for approximately 2 percent of all office print jobs.  Do you need all your devices to be able to print and copy up to 11 x 17? Also, most print jobs are five pages or fewer, print volume has come down across many industries. Ask your users if they are still handing out sets of stapled and hole-punched documents. Do they need costly finishing options attached to these devices? Finally, less-complicated devices can also reduce service and support demands and costs.

Place Devices Closer to Employees

Place devices closer to employees for happier workers and increased productivity. A copier/printer location is critical to maximizing cost savings. Poor allocation of printing devices can drain corporate profits, in some cases wasting nearly $130,000 per year in long walks to and from this technology. Place required devices within 25 to 35 feet of every workgroup to optimize savings.


 

IT leaders often spend time evaluating new technologies with the goal of implementing a more efficient computing environment. At the same time, they are also looking for opportunities for savings. One area that traditionally has been neglected is the potential cost savings associated with printers and copiers. Managed properly, these network devices can often present many opportunities for IT to help reduce printing costs and conserve budgets.

Beyond the simple overhead expenses of help desk calls, ink/toner/paper and electricity, poor printing strategies can put the squeeze on the bottom line by wasting employee time. A recent survey conducted by Clarus Research Group shows that employees at offices with centralized copier/printers spend, on average, an additional three minutes each day on printing. This could cost businesses an extra 13 hours per year of lost productivity just walking to the printer. In this slideshow, Dan Waldinger, director, Services and Solutions Marketing, Brother International Corporation, has identified techniques IT can utilize to potentially curb the losses and save hours of otherwise lost productivity.

About the Author

Dan Waldinger is the director, Services and Solutions Marketing, Brother International Corporation. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Mr. Waldinger leads the Brother SMB initiative, Don’t Supersize. Optimize. Under his leadership, Brother provides resources, self-assessment tools and solutions for SMBs to reduce document-related costs and increase efficiencies.


 

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Five Ways to Stay Productive While Working Remotely

Work with the Cloud

Not having access to the same tools and information as your office-based colleagues can be a real problem when working remotely. To avoid this, making sure your enterprise incorporates a cloud-based infrastructure that provides employees with access to what they need wherever they are is a must. Because there is no physical equipment to maintain, cloud computing can easily be adjusted to the needs of the specific company, either to increase capacity or scale down. This is particularly beneficial for companies that have heavy seasonal traffic, as well as start-ups, which expect fast future growth. Cloud-based services enable remote workers to operate the same business applications as if they were still in the office.

There’s an App for That

Make the most of apps designed to help you work remotely. Prioritizing online tools and applications can be really useful on your trip. For example, apps that organize your travel itineraries such as the airline’s app may be useful for checking flight status, a weather app lets you check local conditions, time zone apps are useful when traveling far distances, maps will help you navigate once there and translation apps can help cut through language barriers. Also consider productivity apps such as conferencing smartphone apps designed to help you conduct your work with as little disruption as possible, no matter where you are.

By leveraging a useful and usable app, you and your colleagues will have less frustrating conference calls, leading to higher satisfaction and productivity. While these collaboration apps are largely deployed onto smartphones, use of business apps on tablets seems to be steadily increasing, and native apps are strongly preferred (77 percent).

 

Collaboration Is Key

When you’re away from the rest of your team, clear communication becomes even more important. The fact is, most work involves collaboration with others in some form or another, and when you’re not all in the same place (as is the case when working remotely), you need to be very deliberate in your communication. Decision makers should implement communication tools, which include the common goal of striving for increased employee productivity and efficiency, but also enhanced customer engagement, increased employee collaboration, cost savings, new revenue opportunities and competitive advantage.

Visibility Ensures Security

Although communicating across many different networks and different time zones is a necessary part of working remotely, making sure the tools you use to communicate are secure is an absolute must. For example, conference calls are an everyday activity when working remotely, with sensitive information frequently shared on them. Despite this, conference call security is typically not given much thought. And yet, in a Zogby survey of business professionals who regularly host conference calls, more than 40 percent of respondents admitted that they don’t always know who is on the line. It’s worth noting that these figures only reflect the number of people who admit to this fact; the number is likely much higher.

Look for solutions that are designed to be effortless with no training required upon setup and no IT support needed to get the benefits. Solutions that utilize an intuitive approach can then ensure that you know who’s on the call (and who’s not supposed to be).

Simplicity of Communication

Your collaboration solution needs to be useful and, crucially, usable. Look for a solution that is simple and intuitive, without the need for training, which your team won’t want to attend anyway. Aside from not needing to dedicate additional IT resources towards training, this has the added benefit of increasing adoption and satisfaction with the new solutions. Also, it’s tempting to evaluate collaboration tools based on feature lists – and assume that a longer feature list means a better product – but thinking about features in this way is ill-advised. Instead, you need a solution that offers a feature set that will actually benefit your team, as opposed to lots of features that sound good but add no value.

 


 

Enterprise professionals are often on the move, working on the next big sale or strategizing new partnership negotiations, so they are aware of the challenges that working remotely poses for productivity. Enterprise professionals also need to stay on top of their work in the interim, whether that’s from a hotel room, train station or airport. A major factor to being productive on the road is communication and collaboration.

There’s no magic bullet, but the essentials are to make sure to have the right tools at your disposal while on the move to communicate with your teams in ways that fit your needs, as well as being flexible, clear and direct in your communication (especially when collaboration is asynchronous rather than real-time, as is often the case across multiple time zones). Because reliability and availability are essential for a worker on the move, here’s an outline of five ways to stay productive while working remotely from web collaboration experts LoopUp.


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Five Easy Steps for Securing Data

Step #1: Learn where your data lives.

You can’t complete your security plan until you know exactly what you’re protecting and where it’s stored. Most businesses store data on multiple media types: local disks, disk-based backup systems, offsite on tape and in the cloud. Each technology and format requires its own type of protection.

Step #2: Implement a need-to-know policy. 

To minimize the risk of human error (or curiosity), create policies that limit access to particular data sets. Designate access based on airtight job descriptions. Also be sure to automate access-log entries so no one who’s had access to a particular data set goes undetected.

Step #3: Beef up your network security.

Your network is almost certainly protected by a firewall and antivirus software. But are those tools up-to-date and comprehensive enough to get the job done? New malware definitions are released daily, and it’s up to your antivirus software to keep pace with them.

The bring-your-own-device philosophy is here to stay, and your IT team must extend its security umbrella over smartphones and tablets that employees use for business purposes.

Step #4: Monitor and inform your data’s lifecycle.

By creating a data lifecycle management plan, you’ll ensure the secure destruction of old and obsolete enterprise data. As part of this process, you should:

  • Identify the data you must protect, and for how long.
  • Build a multipronged backup strategythat includes offline and offsite tape backups.
  • Forecast the consequences of a successful attack, then guard the vulnerabilities revealed in this exercise.
  • Take paper files into account,since they can also be stolen.
  • Inventory all hardware that could possibly house old dataand securely dispose of copiers, outdated voicemail systems and even old fax machines.

Step #5: Educate everyone.

Data security is ultimately about people. Every employee must understand the risks and ramifications of data breaches and know how to prevent them, especially as social engineering attacks increase.

Talk with your employees about vulnerabilities like cleverly disguised malware web links in unsolicited email messages. Encourage them to speak up if their computers start functioning oddly. Build a security culture in which everyone understands the critical value of your business data and the need for its protection. Because when you think about it, every day is Data Privacy Day.


 

While data security has always been an important issue for businesses, after the massive data breaches suffered in 2014, it has become a critical priority for IT leaders across the world. In an effort to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices, January 28th has been declared Data Privacy Day. It’s currently recognized and celebrated in the United States, Canada, and 27 European countries.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from clear, actionable tips on how to improve their data security. In fact, Iron Mountain’s 2014 Data Protection Predictors survey reveals that data loss is IT leaders’ primary concern. Fueling their anxieties is the fact that the amount of data they manage continues to soar — and this data lives in multiple formats throughout their enterprise.

Here are five steps you can take this month to celebrate Data Privacy Day and improve your security plan.


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Top 10 Tips for Educating Employees About Cybersecurity

Regularly Talk to Employees

It’s important for organizations to include cybersecurity training on a regular basis, explaining the potential impact a cyber incident may have on your operations. Employees need to know their obligations, especially when it comes to mobile data. It’s not enough to require an annual review and signing of an “I have read and understand company IT policies” statement.

Remember Top Management and IT Staff

Top managers are often the target of cyber criminals because of their higher level of access to critical corporate and customer data. This increased access has a much bigger damage/financial payoff for the hackers. IT staff are also more vulnerable, given their administrative access over the network.

The Weakest Link

Any network is only as strong as its weakest link. Explain to employees that while your organization is making its best effort to secure the company’s infrastructure, it’s critical that employees fully engage and do their part in following company policies. Policies should be sophisticated enough to cover all possible attack vectors.

Regular Sessions

Organizations should have regular, focused sessions with employees to explore different types of cyber attacks. Threats change, new people come on board, and employees get caught up in their day-to-day activities, sometimes losing focus on the security threats knocking at their door. Consider having regular lunch and learn sessions, and encourage employees to use what they learn at home on their own computers.

Social Engineering

Warn employees to pay special attention to social engineering ploys they will find in social media, blogs and emails. It’s also important to point out that many cyber incidents begin with a phone call from someone posing as a co-worker asking seemingly innocuous questions. Meanwhile, they are actually gathering information about the company and its operations.

Recognizing an Attack

Train employees to recognize an attack. It’s critical that organizations have policies in place that assume they’ll be infiltrated. Don’t wait to react. Have a documented remediation plan in place and update or review it frequently. Communicate step-by-step instructions about what employees should do if they believe they’ve witnessed a cyber incident.

Training should include specific rules for email, web browsing, mobile devices and social networks. Don’t forget the basics, such as physically unplugging the machine from the network and notifying the admin of any suspicious emails, activity or lost devices. Kaspersky suggests that employees should be able to locate their emergency IT contact number in 20 seconds or less.

Don’t Discourage Employees

Even if it’s a false alarm, it’s important not to discourage employees from speaking up when a real cyber attack happens. If false alarms happen regularly, reevaluate your training approach.

Notifications

If an incident happens, give employees a heads-up as soon as possible. A lack of transparency or improper handling of a cyber incident may significantly increase the impact of the event. Issue instructions to employees about how to speak to the public and the press about the incident. Have an internal communications plan and PR strategy in place before anything happens. Consider insurance for cyber incidents.

Regularly Test Employees

Organizations should regularly test their employees’ cybersecurity knowledge and tie the results back into the training curriculum. It’s important to make it fun and/or rewarding, with incentives for prompt responses.

Invite, Listen and Respond

With all things, if employees find the policies too difficult or restricting, they will find ways to circumvent them. If you force employees to change passwords every week, be prepared that they will write them down and post them in their workspaces. If it’s too difficult or complicated to access something they need for their jobs, they will find less secure workarounds like personal email, USB, etc. Listen to what employees are saying and find the root cause of unsafe behavior. Finding alternatives that work for both security and employees’ ease of use is essential.


 

Over the last year and a half, the world has become well acquainted with the idea of cyber data breaches. During 2014 and into this year, it seems like a new massive data breach has been reported week after week, with each seemingly exposing more records than the last. From Target to Home Depot to eBay to Anthem, most people have data at risk.

While these threats are most often initiated by outsiders – nefarious programmers writing malicious code designed to pilfer corporate data, siphon confidential customer information and/or raid company financial data – cyber criminals are too often able to gain access due to employees’ ignorance and/or negligence.

It is therefore essential for every business to educate employees about cybersecurity, to train them before a breach occurs. In this slideshow, Kaspersky has identified 10 tips that can help you educate your employees and develop policies that will help mitigate ever-growing cybersecurity risks.


 

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