Like most folks, I love it when independent research and analysis confirm what I think I already know. A recent analytics report produced by Christine Cignoli of InformationWeek concludes that Managed Print Services (MPS) can help government agencies meet federal mandates and initiatives to cut waste and improve energy management. I knew it! The data for the report was collected via a survey by InformationWeek to business technology decision-makers. There were 199 respondents from organizations with $500 million or more in revenue and 500 or more employees making the findings as relevant to the private sector as they are to the public sector.
The benefits of MPS are pretty well documented at this point by not just InformationWeek, but other analysts such as Gartner, IDC, and Photizo Group as well. Analysts cite an average of 30% savings can be attained by companies using MPS and we have a number of case studies that substantiate that claim. I’ve heard it said that MPS may have reached the tipping point. Printers and copiers are a hot topic for federal government agencies looking to save money and energy, and those agencies are turning to managed print services to streamline their resources.
So – rather than drum on about the benefits of MPS, I want to call attention to some of the other key insights from the InformationWeek report about strategies for a successful implementation. Moving to managed print services is more than just a technology or device change; it’s a cultural shift in many ways, too. Success hinges on managing both the technology and the cultural adjustments. Some of my takeaways from the report as well as anecdotes I’ve heard from our customers to help with a successful cultural transition include:
- When it comes to giving up personal printers, Senior management should lead by example.
- Cultural change around print management is a major consideration. Make that change easier by focusing pilot programs on those groups or departments that are receptive already. That leads to faster, early success and that will facilitate a smoother rollout.
- When positioning the transition to users, don’t make it about IT saving money. Other departments may not care about IT’s success metrics. Emphasize that everybody will have access to modern equipment, and that the plan will save power and paper and reduce costs locally.
- Education is important. Many users don’t understand the cost implications of print decisions. Behavioral changes such as using draft mode, printing only when necessary, etc are a significant part of reducing print costs. Ultimately, users who understand the reasons behind the changes will be more receptive to change.
- Green IT can be a compelling motivator to users. Consider connecting the rollout to other environmentally conscious themes and events, such as Power Down IT Day and Earth Day events.
- One IT manager observed that when users have a better view on their screen they print less. Implementing larger, less-power-hungry monitors may be a complimentary solution.