Printer sales are steadily declining and the idea of the paperless office is gaining traction. In the consumer segment, people are increasingly using their mobile devices for printing whatever they need to print whenever they need to print it. There’s one hope for printer makers and that’s managed print services.
Unlike the market for printers, the one of managed print services is growing. According to a survey by IDC, the MPS market in Western Europe is growing thanks to a cost-cutting drive plus an improvement in efficiency and productivity. The market will continue to grow thanks in large part to small businesses, according to the managing director of Brother UK Phil Jones. The reason SMBs will be spearheading the MPS market development is that to date they are mostly unaware of the benefits this could have for them in terms of cost savings.
MPS providers offer an extensive range of services, including cloud storage and printing, pre-print audits, and device design and optimization plus maintenance. As a result, MPs will gradually displace traditional printer makers from the top spot, unless, of course, they themselves transform into more service-oriented providers, which most of them are doing.
The printer maker market is in for a major consolidation, so in the future there will be fewer players in that field, according to Jones. Printing and IT services will become increasingly intermingled, and eventually print services will become just a part of a wider IT and document management service offering.