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Cloud print demand surges, but MPS players risk being left behind

Quocirca warns that some MPS players are not providing their customers with the cloud print services that they are looking for

The shift to hybrid working is having an impact on the printing world, with adoption of cloud options accelerating.

According to a market analysis from Quocrica, which has recently shared its Cloud print services market landscape report 2021, an increasing number of customers have already adopted a cloud print strategy and more are on the journey to do so.

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered many changes, with the accelerated adoption of cloud print management one of the noticeable impacts of the experiences of the past year. With hybrid working set to be a lasting legacy, customers are increasingly reviewing their print strategies.

“Historically, print has trailed other infrastructure on the journey to the cloud. However, the pandemic has highlighted the benefits of being able to manage and secure distributed hardware more effectively,” said Quocirca director Louella Fernandes.

“The potential for cost reduction compared with running print servers on-premise is considerable, and now there is additional pressure to manage a hybrid environment, cloud print is the clear solution.”

She added that the shift to the cloud marked a moment that many across the channel have been waiting for as a chance to add more value.

“This is the shift OEMs and ISVs have been waiting for, and now is the moment for them to support customers with sophisticated and tailored cloud services. Both vendors and channel partners have a part to play in educating customers about the options available,” said Fernandes.

Quocirca has warned, however, that those customers that are using fully outsourced managed print services (MPS) have yet to make the move to the cloud and truly unlock the savings and benefits.

In March 2021, the analyst house warned managed print specialists that they needed to position themselves as providers of cloud services or else risk losing out to competitors because customer demands were changing.

The research found that 45% of respondents viewed offering cloud print services a key factor influencing their choice of managed print service partner.

“This is an important area of both opportunity and risk for incumbent suppliers – an opportunity to help customers make the switch, while also a risk that competitors will capitalise on inertia to offer attractive cloud-based alternatives. MPS providers should invest in their cloud offering, skills and consulting service and be proactive about migrating their current customer base to the cloud,” said Fernandes.

There are no signs of the remote-working trend being reversed, with figures earlier this month from the Demand for skilled talent report, published by recruitment firm Robert Half and global labour market trends experts Burning Glass, showing a 149% rise in the number of remote-working technology jobs posted since March 2020.

The main findings from Quocirca’s report

  • Almost half (43%) of respondents expect all IT infrastructure to be cloud based by the end of 2021.
  • Some 39% have implemented a cloud print management platform, and 37% plan to do so in the next 12 months
  • More than a third (72%) of respondents said they will increase use of cloud print by 2025.
  • Three-quarters (45%) of respondents said cloud print service provision is a key supplier selection factor.
  • Organisations with fully outsourced MPS are less likely than those with a hybrid approach to be considering cloud print migration.

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