With hybrid working now becoming commonplace for many, we look at the challenges of managing print across multiple locations – and why a managed print services (MPS) programme should be considered a business priority.
As well as increasing the attack surface for cyber threats, hybrid working has given IT professionals the additional headaches of decreased visibility of printer usage and significant barriers to maintaining and fixing traditionally procured devices.
MPS, however, saves time, improves efficiency, boosts productivity and reduces costs. It also minimises waste, reduces capital expenditure, improves cashflow and makes information security significantly better.
Hardly surprising then, that 53% of organisations say that their investment in MPS will increase in the next 12 months1 – with the fastest uptake coming from SMEs concerned with the growing risk of malware attacks and data breaches.2
Here are four things to consider as you implement MPS into your hybrid working structure, so you don’t get left behind.
1. Managed print services can improve network, device and document security
In a hybrid working world, businesses want security from their print provider.1 Concern is so great that 71% say they’re implementing a Zero Trust model that treats every user, device and data flow as suspect – requiring authentication for every action.1
Closing security loopholes for both home and office workers is a key part of any MPS assessment, allowing you to introduce Zero Trust security on all print devices accessing your network.5
An MPS programme gives you access to devices with high-level security built in. Look for features such as swipe-card protection, PIN-protected printing, enterprise-level encryption, and automatic intrusion detection software that constantly monitors against the threat of hacking.
2. Managed print services can help drive digital transformation
In the post-pandemic world of work, the digitisation of documents has become a necessity. As organisations implement digital transformation programmes to keep pace with working practices accelerated by the pandemic,3 37% of them see managed print services as an important driver of digitisation.5
MPS provides access to multifunction solutions that enable not only the printing of documents, but also the digitisation, sharing, saving, resizing and re-formatting of them too.
To make rapid digital transformation gains, you need an MPS provider who can help you digitise workflows and aid remote collaboration.5 For example, Brother partners with Kofax to offer ControlSuite, the leading end-to-end capture, print and output management solution.
In addition to automating document workflows, maximising security and ensuring compliance, ControlSuite delivers a consistent user experience regardless of system or location across a wide range of print and multifunction devices.
3. Managed print services help drive sustainability
Responsible, sustainable behaviour is now a priority business issue. Cutting your print waste reduces both financial and environmental impacts – and MPS enables you to monitor and manage the amount of paper, power and consumables your people use, across multiple locations.
Not only do 83% of businesses recognise the importance of sustainability to their business, 52% say that reducing environmental impact is now a higher print management priority than cost reduction.1 To help you achieve this, you can add the return and recycling of used ink and toner cartridges to your MPS programme too.
4. Managed print services help manage variable print volumes
85% of businesses have reported a pandemic-related decline in office print volumes.1 But the reduction in post-pandemic print volumes might be lower than you imagine, with companies of 1 to 20 employees expecting to print just 11% fewer pages.4
The real challenge of hybrid working comes not from managing lower print numbers, but in managing the irregularity of print volumes. MPS helps you manage fluctuations by monitoring printer usage and optimising your print infrastructure to deliver best value.
And because you only pay for what you print – with no minimum print commitments – MPS provides visibility and control of the cost of every printer in your fleet – regardless of its location.
Plus, MPS responds to automated consumables alerts, dispatching ink and toner cartridges as they are needed – whether that's to your office or direct to colleagues at home.
Where next for managed print services?
The shift to hybrid working is seeing more organisations move their print infrastructure to the cloud in order to manage the needs of a new remote workforce.
As such, it is essential for organisations to monitor and manage remote printing - and they are more likely to develop these capabilities if their MPS provider offers cloud print management tools to manage both office and home environments.
- Quocirca: "What Next for the Print Industry, 2021?"
- Million Insights: "Report Summary: Managed Print Services (MPS) Market Analysis Report, By Channel, By Deployment, By Organization, By Application And Segment Forecasts From 2020 To 2027"
- Quocirca: "Managed Print Services, 2021 - Transforming the hybrid workplace"
- Keypoint Intelligence: "Will Office Print Volume Ever Return to Normal? It Depends" - March 2021
- Quocirca Managed Print Services Market, 2021
Reproduced with minor edits from Brother International UK.