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GE Capital: Office Imaging Industry Must Adapt to Corporate IT Initiatives

August 21, 2013, 06:52 AM
Filed Under: Office Equipment

Businesses continue to invest in information technology (IT) equipment, albeit at a lower rate and despite concerns about U.S. macro-economic headwinds, GE Capital said. That may be a positive development for the office imaging (OI) industry.

The OI industry is becoming increasingly sophisticated, redefining the concept of business services and integrating IT into its toolkit. As a result, the shifting outlook for the IT industry is particularly relevant today.

Glen Clark, vice president and general manager of GE Capital’s OI business, noted that GE Capital is the winner of the Business Technology Association’s (BTA) 2013 Channel's Choice award in the new Third-Party Leasing category. The awards reflect dealers’ ratings of the performance and support of the industry's leading independent dealers and other participants.

“As OI dealers look for ways to capitalize on the growing interest in big data analytics and information security, we’re providing digital tools and sharing insights to help them succeed,” Clark said. “Business investment in IT assets remains positive, especially for middle market companies, a key segment for our industry. As expansion continues, businesses will be investing in their IT infrastructure — providing opportunities for our dealers.”

Total enterprise IT spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 4.2 percent this year, down from a prior forecast of 6 percent, according to International Data Corp. (IDC), a market intelligence service.

However, middle market businesses — a key driver of economic health in the U.S. — expect to grow 5.1 percent over the next 12 months compared to the 1.2 percent growth projected for the S&P 500, according to the second quarter Middle Market Indicator (MMI). Moreover, 64 percent of mid-market companies said they’re planning to add jobs, invest in equipment, make acquisitions or train employees, up from 51 percent in the second quarter of 2012. The MMI is produced by the National Center for the Middle Market, a partnership between The Ohio State Fisher College of Business and GE Capital.

“We know there are a number of issues that are affecting discretionary IT spending like the government sequester and general economic sluggishness,” said Jeff McGaughey, who manages GE Capital’s Office Imaging programs. “But there are some areas — big data analytics, information security, cloud services and mobile technologies — that have the potential for above-average investment in the near-to-medium term. The challenge for OI dealers is to figure out how to play in those areas.”

GE Capital has published a white paper titled “Capitalizing on Big Data in the Office Imaging Industry.” It explains how OI dealers can harness the value of big data to offer better service to existing customers, prospect for new customers and, overall, improve the management of their own businesses. The term “big data” refers to data that can potentially be used for trend analysis but that is so massive — such as the information generated by high-volume business transactions and machine-generated activity logs — that it’s difficult to analyze using common database management tools.

To downloaded the white paper, click here.

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