Opinion

The evolution of managed print: improving efficiency at the core

The European Managed Print Services (MPS) market is expected to grow to €21.9bn (£18.6bn) by 2014 according to a market forecast from Photizo Group. But alongside straightforward growth, MPS is also evolving. Today, MPS has the power to transform an organisation and deliver increased value through business solutions. However, many businesses still only know the concept in its most fundamental guise.

MPS has traditionally been known for improving visibility and control of an organisation’s print fleet, while driving down output costs and relieving the IT support workload. This directly impacts the bottom line through cost savings. However, MPS has matured and now offers much more to businesses looking to improve efficiencies at the core of their organisation.

The foundational stage of MPS focuses on getting the fundamentals in place to meet office printing needs. This entails getting the right mix and placement of hardware devices across an organisation, day-to-day control and monitoring of the fleet, reducing print volume and proactive consumables management.

But a major trend we’re seeing right now is the explosion in digital data forcing organisations to review their approach to enterprise information, and how to manage it as part of their wider document management strategies.

This is what’s driving the evolution of MPS, so that it no longer simply focuses on the fundamentals of print output and fleet management. Now, it’s increasingly about promoting best practice and improving business processes, integrating paper and digital workflows within an organisation.

Summarising the current global enterprise MPS market in a recent report, Quocirca described it as “evolving from the core services of device consolidation and optimisation to one that favours long-term business improvement.” It highlights that key adopters are achieving incremental cost savings and gaining productivity improvements, with the ability to deal with the digitisation of paper workflows being a key differentiator.

Increasingly, companies signing up to managed print services are assessing how information – both paper and digital – is currently managed and processed, and how it could be handled more efficiently to bring increased business value. Documents are the lifeblood of an organisation, allowing a business to operate effectively, innovate, and ultimately achieve better results. The sharing and ease of information access is critical to growth and success and should not be bound by infrastructure. This best practice approach to document management can have a significant impact on controlling access to important company data and ensuring the maximum value is gained from it.

MPS can also play a key role in the optimisation of the entire document lifecycle. It is vital that documents, whatever their format, can be captured at the point of entry to the organisation and integrated directly into business processes and workflow systems to ensure information is available whenever, and wherever it’s needed across the business.

It is this approach which is delivering the true business value of managed print services, accelerating the return on investment that can be achieved.


Danny Molhoek is general manager of Lexmark UK and Ireland

This was first published in October 2013

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