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An important time for MPS providers

According to Quocirca, the hybrid business environment demands the evolution of managed print services. The global market insight and research company warns that customers expect MPS to deliver improved reliability, security, and better business process efficiency as it supports long-term digitisation projects

Quocirca’s 2022 Managed Print Services Market Landscape 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.

The study found that while almost three-quarters of businesses say they continue to rely on print, its importance is declining as digitisation programmes accelerate. The research also revealed that office footprints and company work styles continue to change as companies establish their long-term plans.

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 an overall digitisation strategy and providers need to capitalise on this perception.”

Key findings:

  • 27 per cent of employees are still working fully remotely and 32 per cent are working from both office and home. 41 per cent are working full-time in the office.
  • 42 per cent 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 per cent expect it will decrease.
  • Print is still considered important in 72 per cent of businesses, but only 30 per cent say it is very important, down from 50 per cent in 2019.
  • Current print volumes are estimated at 51 per cent of pre-COVID levels and expected to only rise to 55 per cent by the end of 2023.
  • 56 per cent expect to spend more on MPS in the next twelve months, but this growth is lower than that seen in 2019, when 79 per cent expected to spend more.
  • 53 per cent of printers bought to support home working staff were not purchased via an MPS agreement and only 19 per cent of MPS contracts include home working device and service provision.
  • 74 per cent say it is important for MPS providers to offer zero trust services.

MPS as a digitisation enabler

Almost one-third (31 per cent) 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 per cent 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 per cent), enhanced security (43 per cent), improved business process efficiency (40 per cent) and assistance moving print infrastructure to the cloud (40 per cent).

Alongside the benefits currently offered by MPS, customers would like providers to offer further services. Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of decision makers would be more likely to choose a provider that also offers workplace services; 47 per cent would be attracted by cloud print services, and 41 per cent by collaboration services.

MPS must evolve

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 per cent 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 said that MPS providers are in a strong position right now as trusted technology partners but warns they should be aware that customer loyalty in the sector is not strong. “Our research found that almost one quarter (24 per cent) have definite plans to change vendor at the end of the existing contract, with a further 36 per cent 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,” she said.