By Conrad Mills, services line marketing manager, Large Enterprise Operations, Xerox Europe

A few days ago I was pondering the top 10 business priorities for CIOs, as revealed by Gartner’s recent CIO Agenda survey. Specifically, I was thinking about what this annual survey confirms to me about cost control.

For years, the Gartner survey has consistently revealed cost as a top-three CIO priority, but never at number one. It seems obvious to me that this is because reducing costs simply isn’t an end in itself. Its importance lies in enabling other things: creating efficiencies and freeing resources for transformation and growth.Hidden Print Savings

The use of technology and information in business is changing so fast, the pressure’s really on for IT departments to respond effectively. To do so, though, they may need to first root out unnecessary cost wherever it lurks.

Often it lurks in unconsidered places. Cost reduction has always been a major driver for managed print services (MPS), but the focus tends to be on the obvious costs: hardware, maintenance and supplies. However, as this paper from IDC points out, these account for only a fraction of the total cost of printing.

There are five areas of cost not always perceived as print-related, that really are. They’re larger than the obvious costs and offer significant scope for savings through MPS:

  • Organisational productivity
  • Procurement and administration
  • Environmental sustainability
  • IT service desk
  • Storage and office space

The IDC research shows that when you look beyond the obvious, the total cost of printing is typically one to three percent of revenue, with potential for up to 30 percent cost reduction. This is in line with our experience, too, working with organisations of all types and sizes to eliminate sources of unnecessary print-related cost. Here’s just one example, where we delivered savings of 30 percent that equate to over $7 million annually.

I heartily recommend that you download and read the IDC paper, which discusses all the areas for cost reduction, includes more case study results, and highlights some basic criteria to consider in assessing potential MPS partners.