Doc has his head in the clouds quite a bit these days, and sometimes I need to print from there. Increasingly, cloud computing is taking hold in corporate America, but adding easy printing capabilities from the cloud is not all that easy. So this article from Henning Volkmer caught my eye as it gives a comprehensive overview of cloud printing.
Printing documents via the cloud may seem complicated or even unrealistic at first glance. However, in a business world where printing remains a widespread necessity, cloud printing solutions can provide simplicity, cost savings and a means to address the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce – and many business users already rely successfully on cloud printing, without even realizing it.
With the growth of cloud-based computing, it is becoming more relevant for businesses to facilitate printing in the office through a cloud-based printing system. This will improve print management, resulting in more cost savings. One common obstacle administrators face is devices that either do not have printing capability themselves or for which network admins have restricted printing. For security reasons, the majority of corporate users have restricted or disabled administration rights on laptops, forbidding any printer driver installation when connecting to new networks with unknown printers. If a user wants to print at his home office with a newly-acquired printer, he is dependent on his IT administrator to enable that. Even though this may be possible when using a PC, a growing number of devices such as the iPad, smartphones and netbooks using the Google Chrome OS either have no printing capabilities or only have basic ones that support very few current printers.
Even commercially used smartphones have no embedded printing system, although many printers now offer the option to directly print images by enabling the printer to convert images to print data. This form of printing cannot, however, be used for documents.
Henning goes on to outline three popular applications for cloud printing and the features and drawbacks of each. If you deal with cloud computing, you'll find the article interesting, I'm sure.