A business’s total printing costs can be up to 15% of the annual business spending. Printing is common within a business – not only does it happen all the time, but it can go almost entirely unnoticed. Unfortunately, it can lead to a drain in a company’s resources, bumping up the bottom line and eating away profits. With business printing services, companies can gain visibility of their total print costs, boost productivity, and reduce overall costs. Organizations can track their annual printing expenses with business printing services such as Managed Print Services (MPS).   

The Biggest Expense Businesses Don’t Know They Have: Printing

Printing costs are one of the most underreported expenses within a business. Some features of the print environment which makes it challenging to track printing costs include:

  • Poor visibility. It’s hard to keep track of who is printing, what is being printed, and what device it’s being printed from without some form of print management or tracking software. As many as 90% of businesses do not track their printing volume or printing costs.
  • Printing costs are split across departments. Companies with several printers in different departments may not always think to classify printing costs as their own set of expenses, but rather bundle them into the expenditures of each department.
  • Outsourced printing or supply orders go untracked. Employees may not mention when they quickly stop by print shop to get something printed, or when they pick up supplies for special projects.
  • Costs go underestimated. According to the EPA, the average office worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper each year. However, a business may estimate that average at around 6,000 sheets – 40% less than reality.

How to Calculate Total Printing Costs

Calculating the total printing costs (TPC) of an office requires taking much more into consideration than only the cost of printers and toner. Gartner, a leading technology analyst firm, predicts that total printing costs are the last unmanaged business expense for a company, although it accounts for between 1 and 3% of a company’s annual revenue.

Total Printing Costs include printed documents, outsourced printing, printers, service and repairs, and supplies. Understanding and controlling the TPC is an opportunity to save 30% or more for most organizations.

To gain a sense of exactly how much is being spent on printing each year, you should understand your cost per page (CPP), as well as tally up bills associated with:

  • Hardware, software, and subscription services related to the print environment
  • Outsourced service and repair bills
  • Supplies such as toner, paper, and specialty items for one-off projects
  • Third-party printing jobs
  • Utility usage, particularly electricity
  • Wasted and lost documents that must be printed again
  • Process costs arising from inefficiency or downtime

5 Ways Managed Printing Services Help Businesses Control Printing Expenses

Managed print services are a proven strategy for taking control of a printing environment. When deployed, they help a company in five ways.

1. Volume Monitoring and Reduction

An MPS provider can install the software necessary to monitor print volume. This is the first step for companies seeking to reduce reliance on their printers or identify precisely how much printing they are doing.

2. Budget Control

Printing volumes are rarely constant, but a managed service provider eliminates the rollercoaster of bills that might occur. By implementing a MPS program, businesses can control their TPC with a flat set monthly cost based on the data from volume monitoring – this makes it significantly easier to control a printing budget. This MPS program is priced per page with an agreement to a minimum number of prints allowing a consistent price from month-to-month.

3. Supply Inventory Management

Buying supplies for printers can prove time-consuming and expensive, especially if every device has different requirements. An MPS provider takes over supply and inventory management to ensure that the right consumables are ordered the first time around – when they are needed.

4. Increased Uptime

A dependable MPS provider will be able to create a service program that maximizes printer uptime. By engaging in proactive maintenance and leveraging things like real-time help desks, a company will enjoy more productivity as a result of well-functioning printers.

5. Less Burdened IT

Fixing printer jams is one of the most common help desk calls for an IT department, but it is not their preferred line of work. A managed service provider takes over these help desk calls to keep the in-house IT department free to pursue higher initiative tasks.

RJ Young Helps Businesses Get Their Printing Under Control

Since so many aspects of a business rely on the printers, it can be difficult to identify ways to reduce printing and its related costs. With a managed print service provider it is not only possible but a smart move for any company searching for ways to positively impact the bottom line.

Managed printing services can assist a business with taking control of its print environment. By managing supplies and maintenance, as well as making sure a business has the right printing devices, a company can enjoy a visible, streamlined, and cost-effective print environment.

RJ Young helps companies attain operational efficiency in their printing environment to reduce costs and improve productivity. Start a conversation with RJ Young today to learn what they can do for you.

Small business cyber security took many interesting turns in 2019. From the rise of novel forms of attack to an increased reliance on sophisticated technology, it is clear that security is a rapidly changing field.

In 2019 it was predicted that things like cloud technology and growth of the IoT (Internet of Things) would have a significant impact on the way small businesses thought about and undertook cyber security. That proved to be correct – and these trends will mostly continue into 2020.

However, it is also clear that cyber security is entering new terrain. 

5 Trends for Small Business Cyber Security in 2020

1. Passwords are on Their Way Out

In 2020, security will begin shifting from the use of strong (or weak) passwords to the use of multiple authentication factors and biometrics. These are tied to a user’s identity and cannot be easily stolen or reproduced.

Passwords have been a staple since the earliest days of the internet. Just a few years ago, it was estimated that there would be some 3.4 billion passwords in use on devices and accounts by 2020. Developing strong passwords has long been seen as the first line of defense against cybercriminals.

However, that is rapidly changing. The most robust passwords – jumbles of letters, numbers, and symbols – have proven too hard for the majority of the population to adopt. Security experts from numerous firms point out that people also opt to reuse one or two passwords, which might seem to be strong. Each additional reuse grants another opportunity for a hacker to steal it, thus potentially compromising a string of user accounts.

According to the creator of HaveIBeenPwned, an increasing number of data breaches and data leaks are a direct result of weak passwords and password reuse. 

In 2020, that is going to change as cyber security strives to adopt credentialing methods that hackers cannot steal.

2. Threats to the Internet of Things (IoT)

The world is anxiously awaiting for the commercial rollout of 5G. Around half of the US may have access to it by the end of next year. 5G is the prerequisite for the rise of a practical Internet of Things – and hackers are eagerly anticipating it, too.

The Internet of Things is different from the internet in that devices do not connect to a central router but rather directly to themselves. As a result, it will become much easier for small business cyber security strategies to overlook this internet-connected device in the office.

However, that will prove dangerous. These devices will have access to the same network upon which the company computers will operate. The Internet of Things within an office can very quickly become a soft underbelly around a company’s defenses – a threat that, according to Symantec, is already on the rise.

3. Supply Chain Attacks Are on the Rise

A supply chain attack happens when a hacker infiltrates your system through an outside partner or provider with access to your systems and data. That might involve malware embedded in real software, or data that becomes compromised as a result of a cyber attack on a business partner. In the past few years, there have been more suppliers and service providers touching sensitive data than ever before. A good example is the 2014 Target data breach which was caused by a third party vendor.

According to Cisco, supply chain attacks are one of the biggest threats to small businesses. SMBs are not just attractive to hackers because they may lack robust security defenses. It is also because they may not necessarily know who has access to their sensitive information. As a result, hackers are choosing to target vendors of SMBs in an attempt to get at precious data – and it’s working.

4. The Risks of Shadow IT Will Come to Light

Shadow IT is the installation or creation of IT infrastructure by employees without the knowledge or permission of the IT department. Shadow IT examples include consumer applications in the cloud such as file sharing apps, social media, and collaboration tools such as Office 365.

However, while the IT department is not responsible for the physical infrastructure or even managing of the application, they are still responsible for ensuring security and compliance for the corporate data employees upload to the cloud. This puts the IT department in the uncomfortable position of saying no to employees using cloud applications. Although most of these tools help employees do their jobs, they also provide a convenient backdoor for cyberattacks because they usually lack security.

Cyber security watchdog Analytics Insight estimates that at least 33 % of all cyberattacks in 2020 will leverage shadow IT in a company. Organizations need to act now to discover, secure, and curtail this severe blind spot before it is too late.

5.  Cloud Security Takes a Tumble

The cloud has enjoyed the long-standing perception of security. But in 2020, that might begin to slip.

Forrester notes that as the public cloud becomes mainstream in company options, companies are looking for a way to enjoy privacy and security. Hybrid cloud solutions – the use of public and private clouds – were briefly touted as the ideal solution to balancing these needs. However, it is rapidly becoming evident that hybrid solutions are susceptible to many of the same security issues plaguing regular servers. In 2019’s breach of Capital One’s AWS service highlights this. A misconfigured firewall allowed a former employee to access applications that had access to the finance giant’s cloud – and 100 million consumer records.

Protect Your Small Business in 2020 with RJ Young

Small business cyber security has become more imperative than ever. Despite the adoption of sophisticated strategies like the use of managed IT service providers, cybercriminals remain undeterred. That is why it is necessary to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating trends. The best defense is not just a good offense, but rather being proactive and staying prepared.

RJ Young helps companies in Huntsville, Nashville, Chattanooga, Birmingham and throughout the southeast secure their office environments and enjoy operational efficiency. Contact RJ Young now.

Outsourcing is a common strategy across the business world. It helps reduce business expenses, access talent and infrastructure, and streamline business operations. Businesses can outsource almost every element of their processes, from manufacturing to entry-level jobs. IT outsourcing has become extremely popular, allowing companies to access top-notch security technology at a fraction of the cost.

Deploying managed IT services, or outsourced IT, is a smart move for companies especially where the existing internal IT department needs technical support or network consulting.

IT Outsourcing as a Supplement, Not a Replacement

Outsourced IT works exceptionally well when it complements a company’s existing IT infrastructure. Any company which relies on technology to communicate, advertise, or conduct business processes is going to have IT infrastructure – in other words, every business. Technology is not optional for survival.

Outsourcing IT, particularly in the form of Managed IT services, helps fill the gaps and reduce costs. For small companies, that may mean the guidance of an experienced specialist who can assist with the configuration of a server or optimization of data storage in the cloud. For larger companies, outsourcing IT may mean helping the internal department maintain critical visibility of the network, uncovering shadow IT, or merely providing backup support when the internal department gets swamped with help desk calls.

Internal IT Must Focus on What Matters

Internal IT departments play a crucial role in the digital office environment. Companies rely on phones, printers, servers, cloud services, and more – which makes staying aware of and on top of all these devices critical to success. However, the more technology that exists in an environment, the more work it takes to manage these devices, keeping them optimized and secure at all times.

That is a tough task already for internal IT, which means they have better things to do than changing print drivers or helping someone reset their login password. Imagine if these mundane lower-level tasks could be outsourced to a reliable third-party help desk that specializes in managed IT services. With RJ Young, they can be!

Outsourcing specific IT tasks like monitoring network traffic and handling help desk calls, keeps internal IT departments from getting hamstrung by basic tasks. This allows them to focus on higher-value initiatives within the company to support growth, innovation, and technological optimization.

Technical support for larger more complex projects can also be outsourced. Many of the internal IT departments within a small business, or even an enterprise-level business, do not have the bandwidth or staff to take on larger projects, such as server migrations, which is where IT outsourcing comes into play.

Low to high-level IT tasks that can be outsourced include:

  • Help desk and desktop support 
  • Managing emails for phishing attacks  
  • Providing infrastructure support
  • Managing users and resetting employee login passwords
  • Managing networks and printers
  • Network consulting
  • Server migration and support
  • Antivirus solutions installation
  • Managing regular data backups and disaster recovery
  • Ongoing remote support and 24/7 remote monitoring
  • Managing antivirus basics, virus protection, security suites, firewalls, and ransomware protection

Existing internal IT staff struggle to keep up with the growing needs of businesses, but RJ Young’s Managed IT Services can help.

More Eyes Mean Better Security

One of the most significant advantages of leveraging outsourced IT has always been the increased security this service brings to companies. With data security being such a huge concern for companies large and small, it pays to have a team of third-party specialists looking over a company’s current security strategy.

An internal IT department may be staffed with skilled, experienced, and diligent professionals, but they do more than monitor the network for suspicious traffic. In contrast, a managed IT service provider, such as RJ Young, has teams that specialize in cybersecurity. Their fresh eyes may not only catch something the internal team has overlooked, but they may also be aware of new threats or know tricks to prevent well-known security threats more efficiently.

Furthermore, having a third-party IT service on board means access to more powerful technology to monitor networks and user accounts. Whether that’s the powerful artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that many services have today or software which centralizes network monitoring. Outsourced IT lets companies take advantage of technology without needing to invest in it themselves.

More eyes mean better security. Data is the most precious commodity a business owns, and it is worth the investment to protect it.

RJ Young Works with Existing IT Departments to Increase Productivity & Improve Security

Outsourcing IT services is a strategy for improving a company’s IT infrastructure and data security. If the IT department is struggling to keep up with the needs of a growing business or the company does not have the means to invest in the tools the IT professionals need, consider enlisting a managed IT service provider to help. By handing off simple or overly complicated tasks to a third-party specialist, an internal IT department enjoys the ability to focus on the IT tasks that their internal IT team have the bandwidth and staff to handle.

Outsource your business’ cybersecurity headaches and data security projects to RJ Young. Let their team of IT professionals assist your internal IT department with technical support or network consulting.

RJ Young works with internal IT departments to streamline IT infrastructure and improve data security. Contact RJ Young today to discuss how your internal IT professionals can benefit from IT outsourcing.