Managed print services a 'gateway for digital transformation' for SMBs

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Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are starting to consider the impact of managed print services (MPS) for digital transformation success and this presents a unique opportunity for the channel, Quocirca has advised.

The research firm explained that although many companies focus on paper-based processes, those attempting to be more competitive are embracing digital workflow technology. This means the channel needs to be prepared to adapt their strategies and push digital services where possible.

Almost half (47%) of SMBs want to invest in digital workflow technologies by 2025, with more than half saying they're seriously considering scrapping paper chains and making use of digital collaboration tools in the same time frame.

“While budget and resource constraints have previously held SMBs back from digital transformation, the need to improve efficiency and productivity is now driving them to explore deploying increasingly affordable ‘as-a-service’ digital workflow technologies to achieve their goals," said Quocirca’s research director, Louella Fernandes. "The appetite for digitisation is there, indicating strong market potential for companies that can offer advice and services to support SMBs in their efforts.”

The research added that although businesses won't completely get rid of printing facilities (two-thirds said a physical paper trail will still vital to the running of their organisation), it will reduce significantly – down from 76% today. SMBs said they want to cut down on paper services to cut down on hardware and consumable costs.

By 2025, more than half (55%) of SMBs said they want to invest in print-as-a-service (PraaS) rather than using their own printers.

“Momentum is growing behind digital transformation in the SMB space and many have identified document workflows as a great place to start to gain quick wins in efficiency and productivity," Fernandes added. "SMBs are already comfortable with the concept of print-as-a-service, with the majority using some form of basic managed service.

"With print volumes declining, MPS providers who want to secure their future profitability should look at how they can broaden their services to include digital workflow services that can help customers along the road to digital transformation.”

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.