What’s New in Printing? Trends for 2018

Changes in technology and customer preferences have had a huge impact on almost every industry, including the world of print. In 2017, we saw several transformations, with market consolidation prompting big names like Lexmark, Xerox and HP to focus on traditional printing businesses, while others expand their services in the IT world.

Today, many organisations are beginning to focus on the benefits of print technology in the “workplace of the future”. In an industry that hasn’t seen much change over the decades, today’s printing experts are looking for new and improved ways to deliver value to their customers, through crisper images, cleaner printing solutions, and more cost-effective strategies.

Here are just some of the trends that you may see as we move ahead through 2018.

1. IoT Leads to the Rise of Connected Printers

As interconnected devices in the online world continue to generate rich data for companies from a range of backgrounds, it’s likely that we’ll begin to see a rise in intelligent multi-functional printers that allow vendors to capture a greater mindshare across small to mid-sized companies.

Smart printing machines will give companies more opportunities to serve their clients with efficiency and higher levels of productivity, delivering new enhancements that support end-users and manufacturers alike. For instance, in the future, your printer may be able to tell you that it’s about to face a malfunction, weeks before the problem occurs. This allows organisations to take a more proactive approach to longevity.

Predictive analysis will drive more efficiency for customers as leading vendors use a wide range of techniques, including artificial intelligence and data mining to improve the performance of their services and products.

2. Software Becomes More Important

Just like other vendors in the technology space, manufacturers in the printing world will now be looking for new ways to differentiate their services through speed to market and software innovation, rather than just new hardware. Carefully-managed stand-alone solutions for products are not enough for this agile marketplace. As companies continue to digitise their processes, software expertise will become one of the most important factors in the print industry.

Software should allow companies to develop more secure printing methods that allow files to be transferred as quickly, and cost-efficiently as possible. After all, as printers grow more connected, they also become more vulnerable to attacks. Protecting the current printing environment will be a common focus as we move ahead throughout the new year.

3. New Partnerships Will Develop in the Technology World

Finally, as multi-functional and networked printers become more popular in the constantly-connected world, print manufacturers will start to develop relationships with other tech providers in the space. Some leading print vendors may begin to reach out to a more diverse system of partners to help them secure more innovative product technologies, sales channels, and business models.

The more printing experts can team up with technology innovators, the more we’ll begin to see new developments in areas such as UV printing and predictive analysis. This will help the end customer to achieve a higher quality of printing for all of their promotional materials while ensuring that the price of printing remains low.


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