Comptia Study Finds Managed Print Service Providers Optimistic About Growth Opportunities

Study finds customer satisfaction levels high, but awareness still an issue. By ChannelPro

The near universality of workplace printing has managed print service providers feeling optimistic about growth opportunities, according to a new study released today by CompTIA, the IT Industry Association.

CompTIA’s Trends in Managed Print study reveals that 86 percent of managed print services providers expect to see their business grow over the next 12 months. One-third of providers anticipate significant growth of 10 percent or more.

Print is a maturing market, with aggregate print volumes slowly declining. Yet it remains a critical function in the business world. According to CompTIA research, 98 percent of U.S. workers printed at least once during the past quarter. More than half of companies categorize their print volumes as moderate to very high.

Based on self-reported adoption, the CompTIA study pegs the penetration rate of managed print services at about 36 percent. Large firms (500-plus employees) report adoption of managed print at more than twice the rate of small companies.

About half of the end user companies surveyed said they’re familiar with the managed print services option, up slightly from a 2011 CompTIA study. Familiarity is notably higher among IT staff than among business executives.

“This confirms the importance of selling beyond the IT department,” says Tim Herbert, vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA. “Securing buy-in across the organization is likely to result in a greater long-term commitment to managed print. This may open doors to more advanced opportunities, such as document management and business process automation.”

Among managed print users, a net 84 percent say they’re satisfied with the experience. Top-rated attributes of managed print include:

  • Consistency and reliability of service (90 percent customer satisfaction rating)
  • Quality of customer service (90 percent)
  • Freeing up staff time (87 percent)
  • Reporting and visibility (84 percent)
  • Speed of service and support (83 percent)
  • Reduction in waste (81 percent)
  • ROI / cost savings (80 percent)

Within the U.S. IT channel, about 10 percent of firms classify themselves as managed print service providers. Overall, 42 percent of channel companies report direct involvement with managed print as one element in a broader solutions portfolio.

“There’s a slight but important distinction between strategic managed print providers and opportunistic providers,” says West McDonald, owner of FocusMPS and chair of the CompTIA Managed Print Services Community. “The data suggests that the former segment has been more proactive in building out a managed print practice. The latter has been more reactive, likely getting into managed print at the request of customers.

Data for CompTIA’s Trends in Managed Print study was collected in online surveys of 600 U.S. and Canadian IT business executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting print or document management at their company. Additionally, 350 executives of U.S. IT firms, with most having some level of involvement in the IT channel, were surveyed. The complete report is available to CompTIA Premier Members.

The CompTIA research library houses more than 100 studies, briefs, buyer’s guides, whitepapers, and other market intelligence. These independent, vendor-neutral studies cover a range of topics, from technology adoption and business attitudes to market and channel trends and workforce issues. Many of these publications are available at no cost to CompTIA registered users through the association’s Open Access Model.