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4 Print Management Trends for the Future of Work

Converging print and digital services in the cloud-enabled workplace. A recent study from Quocirca asked 1,021 office workers and 521 IT decision-makers to assess their print and digital technologies – in a bid to uncover trends in working styles, office usage and IT provider needs.

The world of work is changing. While over one-third of the workforce is currently working remotely, this doesn’t make the office obsolete. The purpose of the office is to promote collaboration and facilitate connection, with 37% of respondents citing in-person collaboration as the top benefit of a physical office.

In a post-pandemic world, print-centric organizations are shifting gears to accelerate digital transformation and support a cloud-first, collaborative and sustainable workplace. Let’s take a look at how and why these changes are happening, and dive into 4 print management trends uncovered by Quocirca that give us an insight into the next stage of office evolution.

4 Print Management Trends for the Future of Work

1. Printing is important in the modern workplace

While all industries are experiencing a shift towards digital and virtual work, many organizations remain reliant on printing and paper-based processes. IT decision-makers (ITDMs) in particular recognize the value of print and predict its importance and spend to increase with time.

  • 69% of respondents consider printing fairly or very important to the daily business of their organizations.
  • 72% of ITDMs expect print to be very or quite important by 2025 (an increase from 67% today).
  • 79% of ITDMs expect to increase their spend on print equipment and consumables in the next year.

While print remains a staple for day-to-day operations, Quocirca notes that there is also an employee well-being aspect. Print is becoming one of the premium facilities of the future office, available to businesses that value their staff and customers enough to invest in the benefits it brings. These include easier reading, lower screen time and reduced eye strain for those who find reading on screen tiring.

Of course, the rise of hybrid and remote working has shifted our expectations of where the biggest volume shifts in printing will occur in future. 39% expect office printing volume to increase while 60% expect a rise in home printing.

2. Managed print services are a key enabler for digitization

The number of people who say digitization is extremely important to their digital transformation is expected to more than double to 32% by 2025.

Managed print services (MPS) are designed to optimize your printing infrastructure and make it easier to manage and maintain complex print environments with a unified solution. Not only will printing be more efficient, but organizations will also uncover opportunities for digitizing and automating paper-based processes and minimizing wasteful printing. Those already using an MPS have recognized the importance of these services first-hand.

59% of organizations using an MPS say digitization of paper-based processes is extremely or very important – compared to 29% of those not using an MPS.

This shows the true opportunity MPS providers can deliver to their customers as they transition to the less-paper and more sustainable office.

3. Sustainability is becoming a bigger priority

Print sustainability is becoming an increasingly high priority, and will continue to become more important over the next two years. Today just 16% consider environmental issues extremely important, but by 2025 this is expected to rise to 38%.

  • 67% agree that sustainability will be an important credential for businesses by 2025
  • 75% either agree that sustainability goals will necessitate a reduction in paper usage

Digital maturity and sustainability are intrinsically linked. Those leading the way in sustainability use print-related tools to meet sustainability and digitization goals. A range of strategies have been adopted to address sustainability in terms of printing:

  • 31% use print policies to encourage responsible printing
  • 30% use print management tools to track costs
  • 28% use cloud print management services to manage infrastructure
  • 27% use managed print services to optimize device usage

4. We’re moving toward a cloud-enabled workplace

The cloud-first era is driving cloud print momentum and has underpinned the digital transformation journey for many organizations. In the new world of hybrid work, organizations are more focused than ever on building a resilient and future-proof IT infrastructure.

  • 57% expect to be operating a print environment mostly or fully in the cloud by 2025
  • 20% expect to have a fully cloud-based print environment by 2025
  • 75% agree that print suppliers need to evolve their product offering for the hybrid era
  • 50% agree that managed print services will be their direction of travel

The high availability, flexibility and scalability of the cloud is helping businesses become more agile, while also reducing costs (both financial and environmental) compared to operating an on-premises environment. As well as cutting costs and improving agility, cloud-first organizations are better prepared for advanced cyberattacks through advanced data compliance and security.

Step into the next stage of the office evolution

Managed print services will play a key role in the future of work, helping organizations reach their digitization and sustainability goals as they move deeper into the cloud era.

Printix is a native cloud print management service that provides a seamless migration to a hybrid or full cloud environment. It allows your hybrid employees to print from any device, to any network printer, whenever they want – without the need for servers or time-consuming print administration.

Choosing the right technology (both print and digital) for a modern workforce, allows you to support the flexibility employees are demanding, while operating more efficiently, securely and sustainably.

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