How to Keep Printing Costs from Devouring Your Budget


One of the fattest cats hogging the IT budget is so innocuous you scarcely notice it. You probably don’t even give the beast a second thought unless it demands to be fed paper, toner or ink.

It’s the printer.

Sitting on desks, outside cubicles and in storage rooms, the printer quietly consumes a surprisingly large portion of your IT budget — some say as much as 40 percent. Experts claim that printing expenses per employee are often as much as telecommunications costs, and that many firms spend 1 percent to 3 percent of revenue on printing.

Clearly, the fabled “paperless office” has not yet materialized. According to IT industry association CompTIA, 98 percent of U.S. workers printed at least once during the past quarter and more than half of organizations reported “moderate to very high” print volumes.

Few IT managers know how many printers and other peripheral devices are in use throughout their organizations, but odds are it is two or three times as many as are needed. Research suggests that many of these peripherals are used less than five minutes in a typical eight-hour workday. Nevertheless, 15 percent of help desk calls are print-related, according to research firm IDC.

In an effort to reduce workplace printing costs and improve document management, more and more organizations are turning to managed print services (MPS), in which a service provider takes over management of a customer’s existing fleet of copiers and other imaging devices for a recurring fee. A well-executed MPS program can slash printing costs up to 30 percent, increase productivity and improve environmental sustainability.

MPS is particularly beneficial in organizations that have copiers, printers and multifunction peripherals scattered over multiple locations. If these devices are not monitored and managed, money is wasted.

MPS can also improve security. Today’s network printers typically have a hard drive, which means they can hold sensitive data. An MPS provider taking a consultative approach can implement print monitoring, password protection and secure file-deletion software to help ensure that sensitive information is not accessible to inappropriate users.

Ideally, organizations should seek an MPS provider that can manage an existing fleet of imaging devices regardless of brand. A vendor-agnostic MPS provider is not focused on removing machines and replacing them with its own brand in order to create greater profits. Ultimately, the provider is paid for its consulting value, in addition to the tangible products that fulfill the consultation.

Few organizations effectively track the cost of printing in their workplace. As a result, printers and other output devices have begun to chew through resources and gobble up budgets. By turning over printer management to a service provider, organizations can save money, boost productivity, improve security and simplify management. The paper tiger will be purring like a pussycat. provides comprehensive outsourced IT services covering all the technology within your organization — including your printers. Contact one of our outsourced IT specialists to learn more about our managed print services.