Jakub Krechowicz - stock.adobe.c

Managed print investments growing

Research from Quocirca underlines market opportunity for those with the right solutions and ability to meet increasing customer expectations

With the pandemic firmly in the rearview mirror, an increasing number of customers are reviewing their tech strategies to ensure they can support the continuation of hybrid working on a more robust footing.

There are signs that many of the audio-visual investments that were made under pressure at the height of Covid are now being reviewed, and there are also signs of similar decisions being made in the printing world.

Quocirca’s Managed print services market landscape 2023 study should serve as an alert to the channel that opportunities are emerging as users review their strategies. The headline finding is that spending on managed print is expected to grow this year, with a quarter of customers looking to invest significantly.

But there are signs that expectations are changing too, with a drop in manage print services (MPS) satisfaction levels across those customers quizzed. Customers want to make sure their print fleets meet their changing needs and printing is delivered securely. The importance of sustainability has also increased as users look for products that can satisfy green requirements.

That presents a clear message to the channel to help customers embrace more managed print services while also meeting their increasing expectations.

“Businesses now have a better understanding of how to adapt their workplace infrastructure to support permanent post-pandemic changes. Now, they are looking to MPS providers for solutions that solve the three key challenges of cost, security and sustainability, while also enabling the drive for digitisation,” said Louella Fernandes, research director at Quocirca.

“There’s an undoubted opportunity here, but MPS providers must ensure they are offering the right services and consultancy in response to rising expectations. They must also address the satisfaction gaps that are starting to appear,” she added.

The pandemic hit printing particularly hard, with most machines left gathering dust in shuttered offices. The Quocirca report revealed that overall print volumes have now reached 52% of pre-pandemic levels and are expected to get to 60% in the UK next year.

As well as coming under pressure to improve user satisfaction, another area customers signalled was a good area for the channel to brush up on was workplace services. Being able to provide knowledge in that area would make a managed print player more attractive to the majority of users.

“A consultative approach and tailored data-driven solutions that closely align with buyer priorities have never been more important than they are today. Businesses are becoming increasingly diverse, even within the same sector, so it is critical that MPS providers can develop solutions – including distributed collaboration systems and data security systems – that closely align with the customer organisation’s strategic goals,” said Fernandes.

“There is a real drive among businesses to optimise their print infrastructure and achieve the right balance between productivity and efficiency. At the same time, the economic climate is prompting closer focus on costs, while rising expectations around sustainability performance and growing environmental regulations are also influencing buyer priorities,” she added.

Overall, the tone of the research is positive for the MPS community, underlining that there are opportunities out there for savvy partners to seal business.

“MPS providers have a major opportunity to harness this momentum and help customers transform their print and digital infrastructure through cloud-based, secure, and sustainable solutions and services,” said Fernandes.

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