Epson’s heatless printing solutions are now available to the Scottish public sector through the National Framework for Managed Print Solutions (Image: Epson’s heatless printing solutions are now available to the Scottish public sector via National F)
Eco-friendly printers and Epson’s presence throughout Scotland earn Epson a place in the Scottish Procurement Framework, helping the environment and also helping businesses by reducing their energy bills.
Today Charlie de la Haye, Communications Manager at Epson, explains how the management of day-to-day technology needs to receive more attention than ever due to the increasingly vital role it plays.
For the first time ever, Epson’s heatless printing solutions are now available to the Scottish public sector through the National Framework for Managed Print Solutions. The public sector can purchase Epson MPS solutions, provided by one of Epson’s approved subcontractors, including Active Office, Carbon Group, Highland Copiers, Metrik Solutions and Social Print & Copy.
Epson’s heatless inkjet printers use up to 83% less energy than laser printers and use up to 96% 1 less consumables. A global shift from laser to inkjet printers by 2025 could reduce energy emissions in global printer usage by 52.6% 1, which adequately aligns the inkjet proposal Epson with the Scottish government’s goal of achieving net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.
There are approximately 94.35 million printers sold worldwide each year[i], not to mention scanners, projectors, and other types of common office technologies. The breadth of the market is vast. Almost everyone has access to at least one of these at home, at work or in an educational setting.
They have become part of the fabric of our lives and now there are factors that bring them to our attention like never before. Energy costs are soaring, the need for sustainability is on the rise, regulations are tightening and the expectations of workers, students, patients and citizens are rising.
As a result, what we often refer to as “IT peripherals” are no longer peripherals at all. They are crucial. This is why managing their management well has never been more important.
How a single printer works might not make much of a difference on its own, but multiplying that by 94.35 million and it can make a dramatic difference.
What challenges are IT peripherals bringing to the fore?
This begs the question, what is going on? What is changing to make these pieces of technology much more important today? Epson has undergone research to answer this question and understand how the public sector can respond to some of its ongoing hidden but significant challenges.
He interviewed IT decision makers, users and influencers across Scotland’s departments of education, health and government, asking 40 questions to learn what they think and how they should respond to new developments. Here’s what the results showed.
Energy costs are skyrocketing and printers can help
The first big problem is the cost of energy around the world. At the beginning of 2022, annual energy inflation reached 27%[ii] and continued to rise. In fact, the World Bank says energy prices are expected to rise by an average of 50% throughout the year[iii]. Europe is feeling this more keenly, with UK electricity prices tripling in 12 months[iv].
Research has shown that 79% of Scottish public sector workers want to reduce their energy costs, a figure that has likely soared since the demand was put in the light of higher and higher bills. However, reducing energy consumption in IT is difficult. Network, data center, and computer utilization can be optimized, but there are few substantial savings available.
That’s why over two-thirds of respondents (68%) say inkjet printers will help them meet their cost-cutting goals. Research from the University of Cambridge shows that inkjet technology can be up to 90% more energy efficient than lasers, depending on the type of printer used.[v].
It is not a peripheral savings. Yet less than half of respondents (48%) own an inkjet printer rather than a laser printer[vi]. This needs to change if organizations want to keep energy costs manageable.
Lack of training holds people back
Another reason IT managers need to pay more attention to peripherals is that users want better training. Research shows that 67% of the Scottish public sector say there is a desire in their organization to have a greater understanding of how to benefit more from the technology they already have.
In support of this, a further 57% say they need more training on how to use technology for the benefit of the organization. And many seem to think they are behind, with nearly two-thirds (62%) agreeing that their industry is catching up in the use of technology compared to others.
Considering we are surrounded by printers, scanners and projectors, it seems like a wasted opportunity that we think so little about it and don’t learn how to use them to their full advantage.
IT managers and leaders need to understand the capabilities of their hardware and make sure it is being used correctly to maximize efficiency and productivity. If not, training is required and will be welcomed.
Poor IT and processes are harming parts of the Scottish public sector
The third big issue that is putting IT peripherals in the spotlight is the struggle seen within health and education. When it comes to classrooms, 62% of education workers surveyed said it is essential that teachers have access to a printer, but just over half (54%) of teachers use printers in the classroom. Many are pressured to use their own with 86% of teachers admitting to having a printer at home that they use for their teaching needs.
More broadly in the education sector, pressure is mounting for better technology delivery. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (66%) say students expect higher levels of technology use than before, and most educators (71%) are looking for more effective ways to collaborate and generate student engagement.
The industry needs to examine how it can best support students and teachers in the wake of hybrid and digital learning. And on a basic level, you provide easy, official access to tools like printers.
When it comes to healthcare, data privacy and efficiency are significant and worrying issues. Over half of health care respondents (59%) admit that flaws in their processes have led to lost or lost data and / or documents in the past 12 months. While there are many factors that can cause data loss, nearly half of healthcare respondents (62%) say switching to digitized and scanned records will reduce the risk.
But data loss isn’t the only problem. On average, health care respondents personally lose nearly one day (seven hours) per month due to poor IT that prevents them from doing their jobs. When healthcare systems around the world are under such enormous pressure, it is imperative that the technology is fit for purpose.
The broad geographic coverage of Epson resellers means Epson can offer the Scottish public sector the same quality of service across Scotland, from the borders and central belt to the highlands and islands.
The combination of a sustainable printing portfolio provided by Epson resellers, all experts in their fields and committed members of their local communities, is unique among other printer offerings available on the Scottish Procurement Framework.
In addition to MPS solutions, a full catalog of Epson imaging technologies can also be purchased as part of Epson’s inclusion in the Scottish Procurement Framework. This includes all Epson A4 and A3 printers, large format printers, label printers and related flatbed and sheetfed scanners.
Action is needed
It is clear that IT peripherals are more important than ever. Selected and used well they can reduce Scotland’s energy consumption, CO2 emissions and costs. And they can prevent people from wasting hours in unproductive ways. But to achieve this we need better training and general hardware management to ensure it doesn’t let vital workers down.
Leaders need to remember that small changes in an entire organization can make huge differences. In this context, peripherals are no longer peripherals. They are critical to solving some of the biggest challenges we face as a society.
It’s time to pay them more attention.
[i] Statista, share of printers by supplier worldwide from 2015 to 2021.
[ii] Eurostat, the energy inflation rate continues to rise, reaches 27%
[iii] World Bank, The energy shock could weaken global growth for years
[iv] The Guardian, Ofgem raises the energy price cap by 80% to £ 3,549 from October
[v] Epson, shaping the future of printing with heat-free technology
[vi] IDC, Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, Q3 2021 to Q2 2022 shipments, released Q2 2022