New IDC Color Print Study Identifies Key Verticals and Customer Segments Driving Usage

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., November 3, 2011 – The explosion of color printing represents lots of green for imaging vendors reaping the rewards of high aftermarket profitability when compared to monochrome printing. According to survey results delivered through a new study from International Data Corporation (IDC), users of color devices reported that 47% of their weekly print volume contained color on the page. In addition, the largest companies surveyed had the highest color usage at 50%.

"These findings bode well for a print industry that has had difficulty generating profits and is always looking for new revenue opportunities," said Jonathan Bees, research director, Hardcopy Device Usage. "Documents like medical claim forms and new account applications, once squarely in the monochrome domain, are now finding their way to color devices, enhancing their overall effectiveness, and generating increased profits."

Reducing Costs and MPS

Companies undergoing initiatives to reduce costs in print/copy/fax infrastructure, both with and without outsourcing and optimization, reported higher color usage levels than both the overall survey average and the rate for companies not reducing costs. This finding is consistent with IDC research which shows that managed print environments result in higher color use as pages from other print service providers or parts of the company are brought under contract as part of a cost reduction strategy.

Additional findings from IDC's survey include the following:

Color usage is directly correlated to company size; the larger the company, the higher the color usage

Color usage is directly correlated to the workgroup size using the device; the larger the workgroup sharing the device, the higher the color usage

Manufacturing topped the list of industry verticals for overall color usage

Marketing was the top department for overall color usage

The top brands for color usage were Epson, Brother, Xerox, and Konica Minolta

The IDC study, Hardcopy Device Usage – Color Usage Trends (IDC #230754), is based on a survey of 1,480 end-users in the U.S. and was conducted by IDC's Hardcopy Device Usage research practice. The survey covers end-user behavior around printing, scanning, copying, and faxing. This study is the sixth in a series and focuses on color usage trends and the applications that are driving color print volume. It examines these applications in terms of the leading document types behind increased color print volume and also looks at correlations to company size, departments, industry verticals, brand, and device type. The appendix describes the detailed and comprehensive way in which the 2010 survey data is available and will be analyzed in forthcoming research.

To purchase this study, please contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting


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