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IDC's recent analysis on managed print services industry

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IDC's  recent analysis of the managed print services industry has revealed that the industry is undergoing concurrent transitions on both supply and demand fronts.

The report titled Managed Print Services: What Australia End Users Want, identifies there is an increasing number of businesses looking beyond their traditional IT hardware procurement and management models.

"Depending on their maturity of technology adoption and business growth dynamics, organisations tend to demand products and services that can serve their unique needs, an aspect that the traditional boxed hardware-selling approach is not well equipped to address," said Rishi Ghai, Program Manager, ANZ Hardcopy Peripheral Research at IDC.

"This is precisely where the importance of a managed service-oriented supply-side model becomes more pronounced, and while the trend has been around for some time, it is still largely in its early days for the printing and imaging industry. This study aims to provide insights into end users' perspective of the managed print services market in Australia."

"There is no denying the fact that printing and imaging vendors are under tremendous pressure to look for alternative revenue models as hardware commoditisation and price erosion continue unabated. However, the significance of this quest does not end merely with the establishment of new models for revenue growth," adds Rishi Ghai.

The report analyses the key accelerators for business adoption of managed print services while also highlighting the corresponding inhibitors.

Key findings include the following:
Even though the majority of Australian businesses manage their printing and imaging environments themselves, they indicate no strong inhibitors to the future adoption of managed print services. IDC expect vendors equipped with compelling marketing tools. Especially those focused on educating customers and demonstrating benefits clearly and strongly to achieve an encouraging success rate in winning customers over a period of time.

As a part of demonstrating a compelling value proposition to end users, the industry should anticipate the inevitable challenging end-user demand for complimentary assessment services to gauge the suitability of their organisations for implementing managed print services before entering into high-value contractual commitments.

Vendors have to actively strive to reduce the common problems experienced by customers with managed print services. In particular, elements such as a long implementation time, limited initial visibility of process and workflow improvements and cost reduction must receive priority attention. IDC's research suggests that end users' discontentment with managed print service implementations can escalate very quickly in the absence of visible improvements in the short term.

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