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Now or Never: Print industry predictions #4

Now or Never: Print industry predictions #4

December 7, 2020
Articles, Digital Transformation, Managed Print Services, Security, Trends

To emerge stronger in 2021, print industry players must adopt a future forward mindset to address the rapidly evolving cloud and hybrid workplace era – or risk being left behind.

The industry is at a crossroads where those who take the path to reinvention and take advantage of the following trends will emerge stronger beyond 2021. This is the fourth in a series of 5 trends for 2021 that Quocirca believes will create opportunities for the print industry. Read other predictions:

Quocirca Predicts #1

Quocirca Predicts #2

Quocirca Predicts #3

#4 IoT analytics will prove a competitive differentiator

IoT enabled Smart MFPs will be part of the new smart hybrid workplace post COVID-19. Industry players must exploit the treasure trove of data generated by IoT-enabled smart MFPs. This will not only help create a better customer experience through efficient proactive services and maintenance but also identify opportunities for new revenue streams.

Analytics will be key to the operational efficiency of the smart agile office. Print vendors should leverage device usage data to develop new services beyond traditional remote monitoring and predictive services. Through deeper analysis of how devices are being used, vendors can develop new products and services and offer increased business value to customers. These can extend to analysing home printing behaviour and developing appropriate tools to manage printing between the home and office environments, or analysing scan/capture activity on smart MFPs to develop new workflow services.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are set to be high on the corporate agenda in 2021. Big data analytics will be a key pillar of setting baselines, monitoring and reporting on environmental performance as businesses aim to shrink consumption, reduce their physical footprint and limit environmental impact. Providing data feeds and analytics that integrate with sustainability management systems will be an important signal of support for customers’ data-driven ESG initiatives.

Take action:

  • Data visualisation and advanced dashboards will be key in developing enhanced analytics. These capabilities will become a key differentiator for next generation print management. Integration with tools such as Microsoft Power BI will become standard as expectations for visualisation tools become mainstream.
  • Deliver sustainability metrics. The print infrastructure can have a significant environmental impact and many organisations are now using IoT data to monitor progress towards sustainability goals. Sustainability analytics can help companies understand the cost, impact, and performance of their past and present sustainability initiatives.
  • Applying machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). MPS providers must embrace these capabilities to drive further value to products and services. Alongside predictive analytics, AI and ML can be used to identify and monitor security threats as well as analyse content for data loss prevention (DLP) purposes.
  • Leverage cloud platform analytics. The leading cloud providers such as Microsoft, AWS and Google all offer IoT support to provide sophisticated analytics on massive volumes of IoT data without having to worry about the cost and complexity typically required to build an IoT analytics platform. Print manufacturers should expand opportunities to partner with these vendors to provide a holistic approach to print IoT.

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