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Legacy print infrastructure found to be a major barrier to digital transformation

A new study has found more than 50% of essential workflow processes still have critical printing requirements, yet DX projects often overlook moving print infrastructure to the cloud.

SYDNEY - 16 September 2020

A new study commissioned by global imaging solutions leader Lexmark has revealed outdated print infrastructure is a major obstacle to businesses wishing to invest in cloud migration.

The study, conducted by IDC in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, found 57% of surveyed businesses said lingering print infrastructure is negatively impacting their cloud migration strategy, yet only 43% are investing in print infrastructure that drives digital transformation (DX) initiatives.

Even with the decline in print volumes due to the pandemic, essential workflow processes still have significant integrated printing requirements, with the study identifying operations, supply chain, distribution, finance, marketing, sales and human resources as the business units with the most critical printing needs.

"Cloud-based print infrastructure is a key strategic initiative that companies can invest in to complete their cloud strategy and adopt a digital-first approach to their business processes," said Stephen Bell, Lexmark Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. "The pandemic has exposed gaps and weaknesses in IT infrastructure, with print among the most critical areas lagging in companies’ digital transformation journeys."

The businesses surveyed stated the most significant challenges to managing legacy print infrastructure included ensuring the security of print infrastructure and devices (81%); the IT burden associated with managing print and print servers (81%); inventory management (81%); a lack of visibility into spending (80%); and a difficulty in updating or replacing legacy print hardware (79%).

Finding a Simple Solution

"IDC believes it is time for organisations to start thinking about print more strategically – to elevate the conversation around print and include it within the broader context of their DX discussions related to cloud migration and document process strategies," said Robert Palmer, Research Vice President, Imaging, Printing, and Document Solutions at IDC Research.

IT leaders appear to be united on a preference for as-a-service consumption models over financing (70% vs 22%), and a recognition (94% agree) that the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to improve printer fleet management.

"IT leaders recognise the benefits of cloud and IoT," Bell added. "Delivering print as an IoT product-as-a-service will accelerate business agility and simplify IT management and acquisition, while improving the user experience for customers. Cloud print infrastructure as-a-service provides access to a modern and secure print infrastructure that can provide a basis for future digital transformation initiatives."

The study commissioned by Lexmark follows the recent publication of IDC’s Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide, which predicted that global spending on DX technology and services in 2020 will grow by 10.4% to U$1.3 trillion (approximately A$ 1.8 trillion).

About Lexmark

Lexmark creates innovative imaging solutions and technologies that help customers worldwide print, secure and manage information with ease, efficiency and unmatched value. Lexmark and the Lexmark logo are trademarks of Lexmark International, Inc., registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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