The digital printing and signage industry has undergone numerous significant changes over the last year. Furthermore, while the total number of prints has decreased over the last few years, over 75% of SMBs still rely heavily on printing in 2019, and nearly two-thirds claim that they will continue to rely on the medium 5 to 6 years from now. Several large printing enterprises have already made the necessary changes in 2018 to prepare for this not-too-distant future. Here, we will discuss some of the changes that the printing industry will undergo in 2019.
The Focus on IT Expertise Will Increase
The acquisition of IT providers will increase, as larger companies and manufacturers will take advantage of their specialized support and sales acumen in order to get a competitive edge. Interestingly, the majority of companies will prioritize the services that IT providers provide over the services provided by conventional print suppliers. Ergo, channel partners will need to align themselves with veteran IT companies or expand their own IT expertise in-house in order to remain competitive.
IoT will Fuel Print Security Expenditures
Many cybercriminals will take advantage of IoT exploits, and the number of such attacks will only increase in the future. Regarding printers, IoT based security vulnerabilities can become an issue for many companies, and while new technology has helped usher in numerous improvements regarding print security, there are still some enterprises that are unaware of the risks that a hacked Multi-Function Printer can pose.
A cybercriminal can use their skills to extract pertinent and confidential data that has been stored on a company’s printers; turning the printers into network access points. Today, most Managed Printing Service companies will maintain print devices and launch new patches via the cloud, but there are still some limitations that will need to be addressed.
In 2019, there will be an added emphasis placed on threat intelligence. MPS providers will further expand their services by creating state-of-the-art monitoring services and security assessment technology as part of their client packages. Many experts expect printer security to be treated with the same priority level as the other components of the IT infrastructure.
IoT Services Will Become the Norm
As the implementation of IoT in enterprises continues to grow, more and more MPS providers will begin to integrate their existing tech with IoT platforms. Moreover, many MPS companies have a very strong legacy in maintaining and managing multifunctional printers, conventional printers, and other such IoT items via their networks. In 2019, expect an increased emphasis on predictive maintenance, system analytics, remote diagnostics, and device monitoring by Managed Printing Services.
The end result will be enhancements in print continuity infrastructure, as well as improvements in print infrastructure security, reliability, and performance. Hence, many MPS providers should take advantage of the remote monitoring, fault detection, asset management, and smart analytics that enterprise IoT platforms offer, as it will allow them to partake in an increasingly sophisticated and lucrative space.
Managed Printing Services via the Cloud
Many channel partners who are focused on creating enduring client partnerships and maximizing their bottom line will turn to the cloud for their MPS needs; as cloud services are both an affordable and versatile approach to MPS. Furthermore, cloud services can be leveraged in order to provide better accessibility to an ever-growing SMB industry.
Interestingly, companies who currently use on-site printing solutions can reduce their costs by moving their print management to the cloud; as it will allow prints to be transmitted to a single print server that is virtual instead of several on-site servers. 2019 will usher in a new wave of cloud-based MPS’s, as more and more MPS enterprises will expand their conventional services so that the issues related to management printing will be reduced drastically.
Expect a Marked Digital Convergence
While several companies have made the shift to mobile and digital solutions, most companies still use print for their workplace needs. In 2019, digital and print convergence will help push an augmented demand for document workflow that is wholly integrated. This is primarily due to the continuous need for physical signature storage, the preferences of both workers and clients, and paper communications receipts from numerous suppliers.
In sum, 2019 will see an increase in the number of opportunities for MPS providers to create a symbiotic relationship between the digital and paper mediums in order to maximize workflow efficiency.
The Increase of AI Use in Printers
In 2018 some companies began to utilize printers that included basic voice recognition software. While MFPs and certain smart printers have used rudimentary voice recognition technology in the recent past, the dissemination of smart technology services in the workplace will grow exponentially in 2019. For instance, both Xerox and HP have recently leveraged AI capabilities into their print technology, albeit the implementation of their top of the line tech will be largely contingent on partnerships with multinational conglomerates; such as Amazon and Google.
To learn more about the 2019 trends in the printing industry, call Club Ink at 416-694-1996 or contact us here.