Hybrid Business Environment Demands the Evolution of MPS
According to Quocirca’s latest report, customer spend on Managed Print Services (MPS) continues to increase but, while 72% of businesses say they continue to rely on print, its importance is declining as digitisation programmes accelerate. It also finds that office footprints and company work styles continue to change as companies establish their long-term plans.
Louella Fernandes (pictured), Quocirca Research Director, comments: “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 overall digitisation strategy and providers need to capitalise on this perception.”
The report draws on primary research conducted among senior IT Managers with responsibility for decisions relating to managed print services in the UK, France, Germany, and the US. 203 companies with more than 500 employees who have MPS in place were surveyed.
- 27% of employees are still working fully remotely and 32% are working from both office and home. 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 space and/or a hub-and-spoke model with a larger number of satellite offices. 34% expect it will decrease.
- 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 only rise to 55% by the end of 2023.
- 56% expect to spend more on MPS in the next twelve months, but this growth is lower than that seen 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.
MPS as a digitisation enabler
The report found that almost one-third (31%) of the senior IT managers surveyed feel that MPS is a very important part of their digital transformation initiatives. This is more common in the US, where 48% of respondents say it is very important.
MPS is expected to deliver a wide range of business benefits, the most valuable of which is improved service quality and reliability (cited by 44%), enhanced security (43%), improved business process efficiency (40%) and assistance moving print infrastructure to the cloud (40%).
Alongside the benefits currently offered by MPS, customers would like providers to offer further services. Almost two thirds (64%) of decision makers would be more likely to choose a provider that also offers workplace services; 47% would be attracted by cloud print services, and 41% by collaboration services.
MPS must evolve to meet hybrid working requirements
The continued shift to a hybrid, flexible work environment means traditional MPS providers must 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.
Online marketplaces are also making incursions into the B2B market, with 53% of printers purchased by businesses for home workers having been bought outside of MPS contracts. MPS providers should act fast to incorporate home worker device and management solutions into existing contracts or they may lose influence and revenue opportunities with customers.
Louella Fernandes continues: “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%) 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, but MPS providers need to make sure they defend against IT service providers to secure future revenues.”
Quocirca’s Managed Print Services Market Landscape Report 2022 contains detailed analysis of the MPS offerings from leading OEMs, along with recommendations for providers and buyers.
Full report and a complementary executive summary can be downloaded here.
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