Study: Office workers envision more mobile, digital workplace than IT pros
There’s a growing disconnect between an increasingly mobile workforce that envisions a more digital future for their companies around collaboration and IT decision-makers that continue to see a workplace reliant on traditional technologies like printers, according to a new study released this week by research firm Quocirca.
The Lowdown: The problem is that the IT decision-makers are making investments based on their view of the future, which could be slowing the print-digital convergence efforts of many companies and hindering the increased productivity that such a transformation promises, the analysts said.
The Details: The key findings of the report include:
> Importance of paper: 65% of IT decision-makers say paper will continue to be an important part of the workplace in 2025, but only 36% of office workers feel the same way.
> Investments: 62% of office workers say digital collaboration tools should be an investment priority, compared with 45% of IT decision-makers.
> Print vendors: 58% of all people surveyed said print vendors need to be closer partners with both IT decision-makers and lines of business.
> Digitization and paper: 49% said digitization of paper-based processes will be very important to digital transformation initiatives by 2025; 25% said it already is today.
> The environment: The top challenge associated with the print segment at enterprises is reducing its environmental impact.
Like other parts of the IT industry, the printer segment needs to adopt a more service-oriented focus and become more significant players in the larger tech discussions at enterprises, enabling them to influence IT decision-makers, according to the study.
The Impact: The industry is seeing declining demand for printer and copier hardware and supplies like paper and ink as more businesses opt for digital technologies and reduce the number of pages they print. It’s also a crowded space, with such established vendors as Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Sharp, and Xerox. The challenges in the industry have been highlighted by Xerox’s recent $33 billion takeover bid of HP, a move the latter company has rejected.
The Buzz: “The print industry is at a critical point where it must build momentum around ‘as-a-service’ IT-centric offerings,” said Louella Fernandes, director at Quocirca. “However, identifying what customers need will prove difficult given the significant disconnection in priorities between those who use print technologies and those who specify and purchase them. This creates a satisfaction gap where office workers don’t get the productivity tools they want and IT decision-makers see their investments failing to have the positive impact they anticipate. Print vendors need to become strategic partners working with IT decision makers to identify what business units really need. …”