All businesses are different. In the same way that no two people are exactly the same. Therefore, delivering an outstanding print management solution cannot be achieved with a one-solution-fits-all approach.

When deciding to outsource your print management, the first big question will be around hosting. Should you use a public cloud or a private cloud? Maybe the ideal solution is a hybrid cloud set-up? The correct answer will be largely determined by your business goals.

Public cloud

When Cloud computing services use shared cloud infrastructure provided by a third party they are using a public cloud model. Examples include such as AWS, Google and Microsoft 365. Sometimes public cloud solutions are free, others, they are paid for through subscription or pay-per-use models.

The third-party owner of the servers is responsible for managing and maintaining the cloud infrastructure. This makes using a public cloud appealing as it can reduce costs and man-hours. Using a public cloud setup can also make scaling easy. However, it’s not all good news. These benefits do come at a cost. Because public clouds are used by anyone, they can’t be tailored, customised or controlled in the same way that a private cloud can.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is also referred to as an internal private cloud or a corporate cloud. With  a private cloud, an organisation has a dedicated cloud infrastructure committed solely to their business. This enables them to maintain a set level of security, access control and even customisation just as they would if it were an on-premises infrastructure, without having to provide the real estate.

Private clouds used to be run on-premises only, however now it’s possible to rent infrastructure within a cloud service provider’s data centre. Private clouds cost more but they can be more easily tailored to deliver according to the organisation’s needs.

There are 4 different types of private clouds for businesses to choose from:

On-premises private cloud

An on-premises private cloud is a cloud that sits within your own data centre and is managed by your own IT teams. This offers optimum control, security and customisation. However, capacity is limited by your infrastructure which means your ability to scale is limited.

A virtual private cloud

A Virtual Private Cloud enables you to define and control a custom virtual network that works like a private cloud environment but over a public cloud provider’s shared IT infrastructure.

Hosted Private Cloud

A hosted private cloud is run from a third-party’s cloud servers –  usually off-premises. The main difference from a virtual private cloud is that you have the server entirely for the use of your company. Therefore, a hosted private cloud offers more resources and scalability options and usually comes with a useful dashboard and support team. The server provider takes on responsibility for the maintenance, upgrades and security management of the cloud, freeing up man-hours from within your business to focus on other things.

Managed Private Clouds

These are usually single-tenant cloud environments which can be located on-premises at your organisation. A third-party takes responsibility for deploying, configuring, managing and maintaining the cloud and all of its software, network and operations.

Some providers offer a broader service, with additional offerings such as identity management, storage, backups and even disaster recovery.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud solutions combine several public cloud offerings or private cloud and public cloud offerings to service computing, storage and services. Hybrid cloud solutions can offer the best of both the public cloud and private cloud worlds. It can help keep costs down while offering increased customisation and optimal security where needed. Of course, this enhanced ability to tailor your setup also has its price – a hybrid model can be much more difficult to troubleshoot.

No single one of these options is right or wrong, or even better or worse. When you outsource your print management to ASL Group, we focus on finding the right print management solution for your business. Whether you choose a Public Cloud Solution or prefer to keep control of your security with a private cloud solution, the team at ASL are experienced and knowledgeable to help with a seamless move to a cloud-based print management solution. For more information, call us on 0345 207 7000.