The downturn is likely to fuel the market shift to printservices and other systems that help businesses save costs as traditionalhardware sales look set to limp along again this year following a lacklustre2008.
According to data from Gartner, 48.2 million printers, copiersand MFPs were shipped across EMEA in 2008, an 8.4% decline year-on-year withconsumers and businesses delaying purchases in the tough economic climate.
The fourth quarter in particular was a “pivot point for theworld economy” said Tosh Prabhakar, Gartner senior analyst, which created ahighly challenging sales environment across all form factors and channels.
“The rapidly deteriorating economic environment is forcingtechnology providers to look at their business models and make significantadjustments,” he said.
Poor consumer confidence saw spending on print fall 9% forthe year and businesses delayed upgrades or cancelled investment in new officeequipment as “budgets and cost containment policies became a priority”, saidthe analyst.
“However, these businesses should instead consider adoptingstrategic and deployment alternatives such as managed print services, smart MFPand fleet document systems to help better control costs,” he said.
The economic climate caused consumer and businesses to spendcautiously last year and Gartner said the reduced credit availability forindividuals and companies will exacerbate the situation for the remainder of2009.