Among the top people Doc respects in the Managed Print Services (MPS) world is Ed Crowley, CEO and founder of Photizo Group. So when I find a long and thorough article by Ed on the subject, I feel compelled to pass it along.
This particular tome appeared on the Dataquest Website and goes into great length on the reasons for and value of MPS. Here's how Ed sets up the case:
The Internet, PDF documents that can be read on any system, massive increase in electronic storage space, and Electronic Content Management (ECM) systems were supposed to result in a paperless office. However, instead of reducing the amount of paper used by organizations, this is actually increasing document production as paper moved from being an information storage tool to being a convenience item. Instead of printing a document and filing it for later use (how many of those pages do you actually file that you print each day?), we receive an electronic document, print it to read it, throw it away, print it again at some later date when we need it again, throw it away, and repeat this process many times with a single electronic document.
As a result, the promise of the paperless office has eluded corporations, and in fact, may never materialize. The typical company has one imaging device for every two employees. These imaging devices drive an average cost of almost $725 per employee per year. At the same time, these devices produce an average of 890,371 lbs of carbon emissions per year and consume over 52,321 Kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Supporting and managing these devices takes up over 10% of the typical IT organizations time.
Ed goes on to make the case for MPS and looks at how the MPS market has evolved in the last ten years and takes a look at the future. It's a great backgrounder on the subject and well worth a gander.