Secure printing system guards against data leaks and promotes green practicesWritten by Matthew Lopez Monday, 16 May 2011 12:20
The corporate world has entered an age when corporate social responsibility is more than just an altruistic pursuit. Companies of all sizes, in all industries, are feeling pressure to save money and simultaneously meet the growing demand for environmental responsibility and accountability.
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Organizations can “go green” while achieving cost savings by implementing a managed print services (MPS) program with controlled document printing. A key component is a secure-document print-release system coupled with a contactless smart card and integrated reader system that, in most cases, is already being used for physical access control. This system enhances user convenience while promoting responsible use of natural resources by reducing paper and electricity consumption. A properly implemented system will successfully reduce an organization’s carbon footprint and meet internal green initiatives.
With multiple machines for copy, print, and scan requirements, as well as multiple desktop printers residing in individual offices, it is nearly impossible to determine the actual financial and environmental costs associated with printing. However, it has been estimated that the average company spends between 1 and three perc ent of its revenues on print and imaging consumables and other print-related expenses. Studies show that a typical employee prints 10,000 pages per year, and 17 per cent of those pages were considered waste. Those same 10,000 printed pages consumed 51.5 killowatts per hour (kWh) of electricity in the print process, and the 1,700 wasted pages consumed almost 9 kWh of electricity during the printing process. Meanwhile, manufacturing those 10,000 pieces of paper produced 284.5 pounds of greenhouse gases, or the equivalent of just over 1 week of car exhaust. By eliminating each employee’s 1,700 wasted pages of printing, annually, controlled document printing and other print management initiatives can save as much as $102 to $221 per year, per employee.
Controlled document printing is achieved by pairing networked printers or multi-function printer (MFP) devices with third-party software and a contactless card and integrated reader system. The system requires employees to present their card to a reader integrated into the printer and be “authenticated” before a document can be printed. Users can be granted or denied certain rights and privileges based on department, hierarchy and position. When an employee prints to a device, the print job is initially delivered to a queue where the request can be checked against the pre-set rules. If the employee has authority to print this document, the document will be released from this queue and delivered to the printer only after the employee presents his or her company identification card to the MFP.
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