Businesses demand broader services offering from managed print service providers as print volumes remain stuck at half pre-Covid levels
Managed print services (MPS) must evolve to meet the demands of hybrid business environments and the long-term digitisation programmes of customers, claims global market insight and research company Quocirca in the Managed Print Services Market Landscape Report, 2022.
The report reveals that while 72% of businesses continue to rely on print, current print volumes are just 51% of preCovid levels and are expected to reach just 55% by the end of 2023.
Even so, expenditure on MPS is continuing to rise, with MPS providers widely seen as trusted advisors who can help customers achieve their business transformation goals.
Quocirca Research Director Louella Fernandes said: “This is an important time for MPS providers as their customers re-engineer office and employee environments. As trusted partners, MPS providers have an opportunity to extend their offering into adjacent services while also helping companies deploy secure, flexible hybrid print and digital workflow solutions. Our research shows that clients see MPS as an important part of their overall digitisation strategy and providers need to capitalise on this perception.”
Key findings from Quocirca’s survey of senior IT Managers with responsibility for MPS in 203 companies with 500+ employees in the UK, France, Germany and the US include:
- 27% of employees are still working fully remotely; 32% are working from both office and home; and 41% are working full-time in the office.
- 42% expect their office real estate footprint to grow in the next two years, which may reflect moves to develop more collaboration spaces and/or a hub-and-spoke model with a larger number of satellite offices. One third (34%) expects their office footprint to shrink.
- Print is still considered important in 72% of businesses, but only 30% say it is very important, down from 50% in 2019.
- Current print volumes are estimated at 51% of pre-Covid levels and expected to rise to just 55% by the end of 2023.
- 56% expect to spend more on MPS in the next 12 months, but this growth is lower than in 2019, when 79% expected to spend more.
- 53% of printers bought to support home-working staff were not purchased via an MPS agreement and only 19% of MPS contracts include home-working device and service provision.
- 74% say it is important for MPS providers to offer zero-trust services.
- 31% of senior IT managers feel that MPS is a very important part of their digital transformation initiatives.
- The most valued benefits of an MPS are improved service quality and reliability (cited by 44%), enhanced security (43%), improved business process efficiency (40%) and assistance in moving print infrastructure to the cloud (40%).
MPS must evolve to meet hybrid working requirements
The continued shift to a hybrid, flexible work environment is putting pressure on traditional MPS providers to adapt their offerings or risk losing out to IT service providers. Areas such as workflow automation, cloud print transition and zero-trust based security solutions are all customer concerns that providers should seek to address.
Almost two thirds (64%) of decision makers say they would be more likely to choose an MPS provider that also offers workplace services, with 47% attracted by cloud print services and 41% by collaboration services.
MPS providers also face competition from online marketplaces. With 53% of printers purchased by businesses for home workers being bought outside MPS contracts, Quocirca is advising providers to act fast to incorporate home worker devices and management solutions into existing contracts or risk losing influence and revenue opportunities with customers. Louella Fernandes said: “MPS providers are in a strong position right now as trusted technology partners, but they should be aware that customer loyalty in the sector is not strong. Our research found that almost one quarter (24%) of respondents have definite plans to change vendor at the end of the existing contract, with a further 36% considering a change. With businesses already experiencing major disruption, it is not surprising that they are ready to make changes. MPS providers need to make sure they defend against IT service providers to secure future revenues.”
To access Quocirca’s Managed Print Services Market Landscape Report 2022 or download a complimentary executive summary, please visit https://print2025.com/.
By 2025 most organisations expect to operate a fully (20%) or mostly (41%) cloud-based IT environment, up from respective figures of 6% and 21% today, as they look for the flexibility, resilience and strong security needed to support a hybrid workforce.
According to Quocirca’s Cloud Print Services 2022 Report, this includes cloud-based print management, which is being rapidly adopted by businesses: 43% of businesses surveyed by Quocirca have already implemented a cloud print management platform, up from 29% in 2021, with a further 37% planning to do so in the future.
Four in ten businesses (40%) say transitioning print services to the cloud is a key driver for MPS adoption, with 38% saying cloud provision is a key factor in their choice of provider.
However, Quocirca’s study shows that organisations with a fully outsourced MPS are less likely than those using a hybrid approach to have switched to a cloud-based print environment: 52% of fully outsourced MPS customers are still operating their print environment fully onpremise, compared to 31% of those with a hybrid set-up where part of the print environment is managed in-house.