Every IT professional understands the benefits of IT standardization, such as improved security, enhanced productivity, and the overall reduced burden on IT from not having to manage multiple vendors, software solutions, etc. However, when it comes to the print fleet, standardization has been elusive. For most organizations, the print infrastructure operates without strict governance, resulting in a mixed fleet of different ages, brands and capabilities. This creates a management headache for IT, a hassle for users—and often a gaping hole in an organization’s security posture. Why is this happening?
First, there is a general lack of focus on print
For most IT decision-makers with demanding schedules, print simply isn’t a top priority. More pressing issues, such as security, overshadow what’s considered basic hardware infrastructure. However, many organizations operate with an aged print fleet. Lexmark experience shows that as much as 48% of an enterprise fleet is more than five years old—and may lack the most up-to date security features and firmware updates.
Second, standardizing print isn’t as easy as it sounds
While it seems logical that having all devices from the same brand would mean the fleet is standardized, that’s not always the case.
- Many brands acquire technology from other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs); so, while the logo on the box is the same, the technology inside is very different (for example, firmware and operating systems vary from printer to printer, even from the same manufacturer).
- Rapid new product introductions from vendors can make it difficult to standardize on a set of specific makes and models.
- Standardizing on a specific model can leave users with either too few or too many features, and too little or too much processing power. It’s hard to get the right fit and optimize spend with a one-size-fits-all approach.
With these issues in mind, Lexmark has introduced a cohesive portfolio of devices with many advantages:
- Customers can truly implement a standardized print infrastructure without sacrificing the flexibility they need to place the right device in the right location.
- These devices share attributes that help customers simplify device management, enable user productivity and extend their technology investment.
- From small workgroup all the way up to large departmental devices, the portfolio shares common firmware and a common operating system, which simplifies managing devices, implementing security updates and supporting mobile users.
- Devices are built to last, so they can be safely and reliably deployed for the long term (with proper maintenance and use of genuine Lexmark supplies).
While a refresh of an enterprise print fleet may seem unnecessary at first glance, it’s important to consider:
- Cost of maintenance and support on a mixed fleet of older devices
- Productivity gains with new technology
- Peace of mind with latest security features
- Print infrastructure as a long-term investment
Learn more about Lexmark’s print management solutions or Lexmark’s newest line of A4 monochrome and color laser printers and multifunction printers.