Now or Never: Print industry predictions #5
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:
#2. The hybrid workplace will create new opportunities for smart office technology
Industry players should look through the lens of the smart hybrid workplace to offer higher value smart office technology and services that deliver an integrated hybrid work experience.
The pandemic has sealed permanent change in the workplace with home working here to stay, even when restrictions are relaxed. The past year has proven that many employees can be productive when working remotely – in Quocirca’s recent Home Printing Survey 75% said they were as productive or more productive at home than in the office.
As workforces become more dispersed, companies may reduce their office footprint and location to better serve distributed employees. This creates a range of challenges for IT teams to ensure employees can work securely without productivity being hampered.
Although digital communication and collaboration tools have earned their stripes during the pandemic, home printing has also seen a surge in the wake of office closures. But while demand for home printing has been boosted, it is far from a silver bullet for growth in the industry.
Incorporating home printing into MPS contracts can certainly extend existing engagements but mostly these are not highly profitable opportunities compared to the office environment, which is characterised by higher page volumes and more sophisticated devices.
- Lead with a smart workplace proposition. MPS providers have for some time been looking to drive value in existing MPS engagements beyond hardware. While there may be opportunities in rationalising the printer fleet to support distributed workplaces (such as a shift from A3 to A4 devices), long term relationships will be driven around solutions and services.
- Expand focus on comprehensive workplace assessments. Beyond evaluating whether the current print infrastructure is fit for purpose in the ‘new normal’, assessments should cover areas such as cloud readiness, security posture as well as digital maturity. Drive synergies with smart workplace technologies such as video conferencing and audio-visual, meeting room bookings and occupancy monitoring systems and office space redesign services.
- Take advantage of smart MFP embedded technology. While document workflow apps are now mainstream on today’s MFPs, the opportunity around document capture and workflow has not been fully realised. As businesses accelerate digital transformation, simple and effective ways to enable employees to scan and route documents will become a bigger requirement particularly for hybrid workers.
- Evaluate the opportunity for commercial printing via web to print. With a permanent return to the office still some time off, consider how to help remote workers access the high-quality printing that they are accustomed to in the office. This may mean leveraging web to print offerings that connect to local commercial printers that can offer a same day or next day delivery.
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