So we thought we’d throw together our own list as a reply to IDC’s 5 key tech priorities. Specifically, here’s our version of those priorities through the lens of the print industry.
1. Print know-how is equally vital for the “Tech CEO” skillset
Modern-day CEOs need modern-day skillsets, and tech-native employees need a tech-native CEO. We agree that “digital know-how” is critical to a CEO’s success, alongside business strategy and people leadership.
Print is an overlooked realm of technology. Print management and print enablement should therefore form an equal share of the tech-native CEO’s repertoire. One of the biggest reasons for this is hybrid working and its impact on business printing.
Staff needs the flexibility to print from wherever they are. IT teams need to be able to simply enable and monitor printing. This has security and cost considerations in which the tech knowledgeable CEO must be well-versed.
When developing their tech strategy, CEOs must be as fluent in print speak as other technologies. Especially when it comes to cloud print services and BYOD print enablement.
2. Factor in print as part of your tech spend
With increased technology spending for digital products and services being such a huge focus for 88% of CEOs, they should factor in their print environment as part of their budget.
The heightened demand for digital capabilities is leading to financial scrutiny over tech spending. 47% of CEOs interviewed by IDC reported intent to shrink expenditure on workplace technology enhancements. While the pandemic led to reduced print volumes, device usage for scanning and other digital processes didn’t waver.
Print fleets, print management software, and Managed Print Services are therefore realms of workplace technology enhancements that we’d recommended not to shrink. But that being said, part of your tech spend might be rightly used to migrate from server to cloud infrastructure.
3. Risk management: don’t overlook print security
It’s unsurprising that CEOs consider cybersecurity threats and regulations the greatest impacts on business between 2022 and 2024. As technology and digitization advance, so does the attack surface area for malicious actors.
The recent PrintNightmare and Log4J exploits were a reminder that print environments are just as vulnerable as other parts of the digital workplace. It’s important to not lose sight that the increasing rise of cyber threats in recent memory includes print security, especially when it comes to cloud services.
Digital documents need to securely traverse the cloud, and the tech knowledgeable CEO needs to be across how their printing adheres to digital sovereignty and regulations.
4. A print savvy CIO should be the CEO’s right-hand
We wholeheartedly agree that CIOs should have a seat at the leadership table. While the modern CEO needs to be the Chief Information Officer’s equal when it comes to technological know-how, the key driver in digital transformation is undeniably a skilled CIO.
With 55% of CEOs believing the CIO’s job will be to drive IT restructuring, a digital-first CIO needs to be print savvy and aware of the print environment’s significance as part of an organization’s technological equation.
5. Work with your print vendor, and likewise
For all of the above, CEOs and CIOs need to cultivate relationships with their print vendors for how their business printing will achieve their digital-first goals.
Businesses must embrace their print vendors in this trusted advisor role. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and print resellers are well versed in the various print environment needs of SMB and enterprise organizations.
Clear expectations of digital-first services and value-added support are an ongoing conversation. In order for print vendors to help drive outcomes and value as part of the digital-first equation, it’s time for a heightened level of engagement between them, the CEO, and the business’s largest stakeholders.
The CEO tech agenda in a digital-first world
This is just our print-centric spin on the CEO tech agenda.
For the full technology picture, read IDC’s blog on the 5 key technology priorities for CEOs today.