What Does the Cloud Mean for Print? New Survey from Quocirca

In a new blog post, Quocirca’s Louella Fernandes discussed the impact of a maturing cloud adoption on print.

Quocirca’s Future of Work 2025 research reveals how cloud maturity is affecting office print and digitization plans. The report discusses the extent of the cloud opportunity and how the objectives and strategy of Cloud Leaders differ from that of those companies that are more inclined to keep IT infrastructure and management in-house.

Cloud Adoption Plans Accelerate

Cloud adoption has accelerated as organizations have navigated the impact of the global pandemic. By 2025, 61 percent of businesses expect to be fully or mostly using the cloud for their IT infrastructure, up from 27 percent in 2022. This represents a rapid transition, in just a three-year period, and shows that the increase in adoption speed prompted by the pandemic is being sustained over the long term.

Fernandes also says It also indicates the scale and immediacy of the opportunity for providers of cloud-based solutions and services. With hybrid working here to stay, the “work anywhere” culture means businesses need to support employees with secure, flexible, collaborative technology. Cloud deployments are critical to achieving success with this approach enabling companies to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies.

Twenty percent of Quocirca’s study participants can be termed Cloud Leaders, expecting their IT infrastructure to be fully in the cloud by 2025. At the other end of the scale are the 16 percent of Cloud Laggards, who anticipate their business will remain fully on-premise. In the middle are Cloud Beginners (24 percent) who expect to have some cloud infrastructure in place, but will remain mostly on-premise, and Cloud Progressives – the largest cohort at 41 percent – who expect to be mostly, but not fully, cloud-based.

Attitudes to Print and Digitization

Quocirca’s study shows that understanding a company’s cloud maturity offers insight into attitudes around print and digitization.

Cloud leaders are most likely to expect a decline in print volume by 2025.  Overall, 49 percent of Cloud Leaders expect a decline in print volumes by 2025 compared to pre-pandemic levels, compared to 28 percent of Cloud Laggards. Cloud Leaders are also more likely to be prioritizing digitization within their companies. Cloud Leaders are more likely to say digitization of paper-based processes will be extremely or very important to their organisation (79 percent) by 2025, compared to 63 percent of Cloud Beginners.

While overall, sustainability (36 percent) and cost savings (33 percent) are the top two factors driving the digitisation of paper-based processes, this rises to 45 percent and 51 percent among Cloud Leaders.

Cloud Leaders are more likely to have embraced flexible working and are more demanding of their managed print service providers. They have higher expectations of service quality, cost reduction, and support for hybrid working. They expect suppliers to act as strategic partners to IT and line of business. Effectively, they require a service that goes a long way beyond hardware and software provision and optimization. It is not surprising, therefore, that such organisations are forming the closest relationships with IT service-centric suppliers.

What this Means for Managed Print Service Providers

Quocirca’s analysis underlines the fact that print-industry leaders must adapt their offerings to the diverse needs of cloud buyers.

Cloud maturity should be assessed as a key indicator of the best approach to customers. Leaders will expect MPS providers to deliver comprehensive solutions and consultancy on a wide range of issues, including workplace efficiency, security, and sustainability. Organisations that are less mature on their journey to the cloud will be receptive to solutions that solve immediate challenges and also provide a road map to help them move quickly and effectively to more advanced stages.

Access more analysis and recommendations in Quocirca’s Future of Work 2025 Spotlight Report ‘How cloud maturity will impact print and digital convergence in the workplace’.


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