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Cloud print adoption accelerates

April 29, 2021

Quocirca Cloud Print Services Market Landscape Report finds cloud print service provision is a key supplier selection factor as businesses prepare to support the hybrid workforce.

Quocirca today published its Cloud Print Services Market Landscape Report 2021, analysing trends in cloud print adoption and how OEMs and independent software vendors are developing solutions to meet growing demand.

The report found that, although moving print to the cloud has not been a priority until recently, adoption is accelerating as a result of the switch to hybrid working, making cloud service provision a key supplier selection factor for businesses.

Based on primary research carried out among 219 MPS users in the UK, US, France and Germany, key findings include:

  • 43% expect all IT infrastructure to be cloud based by the end of 2021.
  • 39% have implemented a cloud print management platform and 37% plan to do so in the next twelve months.
  • 72% will increase use of cloud print by 2025.
  • 45% say cloud print service provision is a key supplier selection factor.
  • Organisations with fully outsourced MPS are less likely than those with a hybrid approach to be considering cloud print migration.

Commenting on the research, Quocirca Director Louella Fernandes said: “Historically, print has trailed other infrastructure on the journey to the cloud. However, the pandemic has highlighted the benefits of being able to manage and secure distributed hardware more effectively. The potential for cost reduction compared with running print servers on-premise is considerable, and now there is additional pressure to manage a hybrid environment, cloud print is the clear solution.

“This is the shift OEMs and ISVs have been waiting for and now is the moment for them to support customers with sophisticated and tailored cloud services. Both vendors and channel partners have a part to play in educating customers about the options available.”

Quocirca said that the growing focus on cloud print services is welcome news to OEMs and independent software vendors, who have developed innovative cloud-based solutions to support an enhanced user experience and workforce mobility. Security is a core focus, with solutions to support zero trust environments and robust user access management also on the table.

Reporting and analytics are also getting the cloud treatment, as businesses demand more granular insight into the usage and performance of their print network – wherever users and devices are based.

Provision of cloud print services is a primary supplier selection factor and incumbent suppliers should not be complacent.
72% of respondents expect to increase their use of cloud print management by 2025, with a further 5% expecting to switch entirely to a cloud-based service.  45% say that offering cloud print services is a key factor influencing their choice of managed print service partner. This should prompt focus from MPS providers on building up the technology and skills needed to proactively lead customers to the cloud.

However, Quocirca’s research suggests that customers with fully outsourced MPS have not yet made the cloud transition; they are much more likely than those using hybrid MPS to be operating on-premise print. As a result, both customers and MPS providers are missing out on the financial and operational efficiency benefits that cloud print services deliver.  A cloud print service can be delivered at a lower cost to the consumer, while still offering good profitability for the provider – a win-win situation.

Louella Fernandes advises, “This is an important area of both opportunity and risk for incumbent suppliers: an opportunity to help customers make the switch, while also a risk that competitors will capitalise on inertia to offer attractive cloud-based alternatives. MPS providers should invest in their cloud offering, skills and consulting service and be proactive about migrating their current customer base to the cloud.”

The Quocirca Cloud Print Services market Landscape Report contains detailed recommendations for buyers and suppliers on how to successfully migrate print infrastructure to the cloud. It also provides in-depth analysis of offerings from major OEMs and ISVs.

Download a free executive summary here.

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