MPS: 6 strategies for print infrastructure modernisation
The workplace disruption of the recent years is finally subsiding and expectations around the long-term shape of the working environment are starting to crystallise for many businesses. Quocirca’s latest Managed Print Services Market Landscape Study reveals that businesses are now embarking on a phase of re-evaluation, refreshment, and optimisation in order to ensure their workplace technology environment meets their requirements and supports employees.
An important aspect of this is assessing whether the print infrastructure and associated services are delivering the right balance for their business. Are they contributing to wider strategic business goals for efficiency, sustainability, and security, and could modernising it now help future-proof the business?
There is undoubtedly change in the air, but its nature depends on the sector the business is in, and the long-term effect pandemic changes have had on its employee set-up. Quocirca’s study found that office footprints are both increasing and decreasing. 59% of businesses expect to increase the amount of space they hold, while 26% anticipate a decrease. The print infrastructure should flex to support these expected changes, and there are also opportunities to embed and extend the workflow digitisation and collaboration prompted by the pandemic.
Other aspects businesses must consider include support for home workers, and whether there is adequate security across the distributed print environment from both a technical and policy perspective. With recent high-profile print-related vulnerabilities emerging, it is essential to proactively manage and mitigate the risk of potentially costly print-related data breaches.
Here are six ways that modernising the print infrastructure can help businesses perform better in the future:
- Implement a coherent solution to support the hybrid workforce: MPS providers should be able to advise on and deliver home-office device provision, monitor usage and security patterns, and offer solutions that allow closer collaboration between the home and office environment, including secure print management alongside consumables replenishment services. This will create a more supportive environment for employees and help foster satisfaction and retention.
- Optimise existing technology investment: A print audit can identify areas of under- and over-use in the current configuration and indicate where existing devices can be redeployed for optimum efficiency. This might mean moving to a more centralised set-up using A3 MFPs, or mirroring distributed working patterns by deploying more A4 devices. Right-sizing the print environment now will generate significant ongoing efficiencies.
- Meet sustainability goals by choosing vendors and solutions that offer measurable environmental benefits: As supplier sustainability due diligence enters the realm of regulatory compliance, expect MPS providers to supply detailed data about the environmental and social impacts of their own operations. Buyers should look for solutions that contribute to key environmental targets, such as reducing energy consumption, waste, and carbon emissions.
- Cut costs and increase control with cloud print solutions: On-premise print servers are expensive and generate a heavy management burden. By transitioning to cloud MPS, businesses can reduce costs and improve performance and flexibility. Buyers should ask providers for clear metrics on the benefits of a cloud transition and expect them to offer solutions that are tailored to their existing cloud maturity and future plans.
- Ensure print security is appropriate to the distributed technology environment: Security is critical in both operational and compliance terms and the print infrastructure must not be overlooked. Evaluate zero-trust MPS approaches and how solutions integrate with existing tools such as SIEM and end-point detection and response, while ensuring devices remain protected and monitored by built-in security features.
- Enhance collaboration and workflow digitisation: Businesses should seek managed print services that integrate seamlessly with broader collaboration and digitisation solutions to support the hybrid workforce.
The right time to modernise the print infrastructure
The capabilities and breadth of MPS solutions have evolved significantly in recent years. Legacy deployments may not deliver all the advantages that modern MPS can offer, especially if the business has experienced significant change since the initial implementation. By engaging with their MPS providers and exploring innovations in the sector, businesses can ensure that their print infrastructure aligns better with efficiency, security, sustainability, and cost-control targets.
In turn, this will put the business in a better position to navigate continued uncertainty and support employees with an agile, appropriate, and secure workplace technology environment.
For more information please download our latest Managed Print Services Market Landscape Study
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