Solving today’s business problems with the right hardware choices

An HP Inventors Hopper 6700 Transactional in Atmosphere Blue
(Image credit: HP)

The world of work has changed dramatically over the last decade, with an ever-increasing focus on digital-first delivery, which has brought with it new benefits and challenges. 

In 2023, many businesses now enjoy a hybrid work setup, with employees working from home some days while spending others in the office carrying out tasks that can’t be done remotely. Others operate on a fully remote model, having abandoned the traditional office.

No matter what their setup is, all companies are under greater pressure than ever to set out clear sustainability goals, reflected in investment decisions, energy efficiency, and reduced waste when it comes to day-to-day operations, as well as software and hardware.

Technology brand HP has been at the forefront of research around hybrid working, which has recorded the pain points employees and employers have felt as they adapt to this new way of working. While personnel practices and software can be modified and updated as needed, it is clear that investment into hardware must to be carefully considered before a purchasing decision is made to ensure it meets all of the business’ needs in a hybrid environment.

Printers are an example of core hardware that have been adapted over time to not just meet the energy efficiency needs of companies but continue to play just as important a role as in the ‘traditional’ office.

In a recent interview with Mopria Mike Scrutton, director of print technology and strategy at Adobe, stated that printed documents continue to play an important role in information sharing, even as digital and virtual environments are embraced.

“Compared to the [screen and whiteboard] trends seen at CES, paper complements them rather than replacing them, and vice versa,” he said. 

“In the same way you can look something up on a smartphone or tablet and then return to a bigger screen to continue your task, so a printed sheet can be used to refer to information, an idea, or be transported outside the room. Or indeed be used to bring information into a space.”

If you run a large business, it’s likely that physical documents still play a large part in some aspects of your weekly business processes. This could be in the form of sensitive contracts or briefings for important clients.

Businesses that fail to invest in printers may find themselves relying on costly third-party printing services when they face a sudden need for printed content. Additionally, many businesses have an existing printer setup that may be in need of replacement.

This could be an ideal opportunity to take stock of how vital printing is to a company’s individual needs. For example, a business that has moved largely to the cloud since it last purchased printers could benefit from buying fewer, smaller units when it next invests in new hardware.

Whatever the business, printers need to be reliable, interoperable, and compatible with scaling ambition to fit into today’s fast-paced work environment.

Guilt-free, green documents

No matter the size of a company, sustainability is an important factor to place at the very center of its business strategy.

Customers feel better buying from a business they know has clear sustainability objectives, and proper planning around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy helps employees feel proud of where they work.

ESG targets can only be met if businesses take a holistic approach to internal change, and reassessing all hardware, including printers, is included in this.

Having the right printers to hand can be cheaper and more sustainable than not having any at all - it’s all a matter of strategy.

If a business under-invests in printer hardware, it may be saddled with poor-quality products that are wasteful with materials and have a disproportionately negative impact on the environment.

Conversely business professionals are understandably reluctant to over-invest in printer hardware that’s impractical for their needs. Buying the right-sized printer, from a trusted manufacturer with clear sustainability goals is a must.

Printer manufacturers recognize these concerns and have heavily invested in developing products that provide effective printer hardware and software that is more environmentally ethical than ever before.

HP’s TerraJet cartridges, for example, run at 27% lower energy cost than preceding products, and come with 78% less plastic in their packaging and manufacturing. This new toner comes as standard with HP’s latest Colour LaserJet Enterprise 5000/6000 printer series.

Enterprises that make use of HP's managed print services can also use its two-tone cartridges, which require less metal at the point of manufacturing.

While the business world has not eclipsed its need for printers, it does demand more from its hardware than ever before with regards to efficiency and ethics. 

Enterprises that make the right choice when it comes to printers can set themselves up for the future and save at the same time. 

Hybrid work and printing can go hand-in-hand

In a similar fashion, embracing printing does not have to come at the expense of those working in a remote or hybrid environment.

With the right hardware approach, companies can ensure workers get to enjoy the benefits of modern work patterns at the same time as having access to printers when they need them most.

The HP Global Hybrid Work Study revealed that 60% of British workers feel hybrid work has improved their productivity, and as many as 89% indicated that hybrid work provides a foundation for a better work-life balance.

Whatever the setup, every business needs to ensure that employees are able to deliver excellent printed content as and when it is required.

“Flexible work arrangements are here to stay with companies of all sizes using it as a way to attract and retain top talent. However, distributed workforce productivity is top of mind for businesses,” says Xavier Garcia, global head and general manager of office print hardware at HP.

Printing as a first line of defense

The widespread digital transformation of the corporate world has come with downsides, including increased vulnerability hacking, malware, and ransomware attacks.

As the number of connected devices has increased, so has the attack surface. It’s more important than ever, therefore, that networks and devices on them are as secure as possible.

If an organization’s printer is compromised, attackers can intercept sensitive data from documents that passed through it and leverage this for extortion or sell it directly on the black market.

From factory floor to office floor, IT managers need assurances of a secure supply chain. Even printer cartridges can be tampered with by threat actors, prompting companies such as HP to introduce extra security layers for added peace of mind. 

In addition to security concerns, reliability, and downtime loom large over devices in the modern workplace. Keeping up with any industry in near real time means being able to produce mission-critical documents at a moment’s notice and with no privacy concerns.

As critical pieces of office hardware printers need to be ready at a moment’s notice, and quick to fix when they run into an issue.

Problems that persist for an hour or more could be the difference between a missed deal, or a vital contract signing being pushed back by at least a day.

With the right approach to hardware, business leaders can avoid production pitfalls at the same time avoid falling behind on security. Knowing your own needs, and how best to fulfill them through trusted brands, is key.

The same applies to challenges in sustainability, productivity, and work patterns. When businesses recognize hardware investment as key to achieving long-term goals rather than a remedy to immediate issues, they can achieve success without having to make sacrifices.


ITPro is a global business technology website providing the latest news, analysis, and business insight for IT decision-makers. Whether it's cyber security, cloud computing, IT infrastructure, or business strategy, we aim to equip leaders with the data they need to make informed IT investments.

For regular updates delivered to your inbox and social feeds, be sure to sign up to our daily newsletter and follow on us LinkedIn and Twitter.