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Canon Survey Reveals Print Usage Trends of SMEs in GCC

A printer usage survey conducted by Canon Middle East among 1,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) throughout the GCC revealed that their use of multi-functional printers (MFP) are not being fully optimized.

The study entitled –  ‘Canon GCC SME IT & Office Print Trends’, aimed to find out whether small businesses throughout the region are using the full features and maximising the benefits offered by MFPs.

Based on telephone interviews with IT professionals in SME organisations across the GCC, the findings showed that three out of four SMEs in the region do not use MFP solutions smartly, are at risk of exposing confidential information, and are largely unaware that they can minimise their operational costs and increase employee productivity when they adopt smart print solutions.

With 68% of respondents revealing they have misplaced both confidential personal and corporate documents at the printer tray, most SMEs are in danger of losing critical information that could hamper business growth. This clearly highlights the need for users to utilise features that enable them to print documents securely.

Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director, Canon Middle East observed: “Now more than ever, organisations need to look at ways to cut down on unnecessary print jobs and ensure tight cost management – while keeping their information secure. There is a clear opportunity for SMEs in the region to make some simple, cost-effective IT changes that will have a dramatic impact on reducing costs as well as improving workforce efficiency. We’re not talking about a complete overhaul of systems but rather encouraging organisations to really think about the way any new technology investments support their organisation and their staff and also training them to use its features to its optimum.”

The survey also revealed that 60% of respondents are not aware of features available to monitor print related costs, of which 57% of respondents from larger businesses with over 50 employees were directionally more interested in being able to monitor printing costs.

When it comes to printer maintenance, interest for a yearly contract is low among small-sized companies, with only one business in four being positive about it. However two out of four larger companies involving a higher turnover in business were interested for a yearly printer maintenance contract.

In addition, the survey also highlighted that the awareness and availability of productivity enhancing printing facilities from MFPs is fairly low on most aspects, be it printing from smart devices or remotely printing whilst out of the office. For instance, only one in four SMEs have the facility to print from a smart device directly to a printer; and only one in five have the option to print remotely.

“The findings reinforce the need for technology to help staff perform more efficiently and to the best of their ability. The study also provides an opportunity for Canon to educate SMEs on the benefits of mobile print solutions as well as remote, cloud printing solutions which could lead to higher productivity and efficient MFP usage among SMEs. Organisations that have not only invested in appropriate print technologies but also put its features to optimum use will be well-placed to reap the benefits of productivity and efficiency at the work place,” concluded Verbrugghe.

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