I’m often asked what the future of printing looks like, especially with the uptake in digital storage, data transfers and general cloud computing. Here’s my take on it:
I have been in the printing industry for 25 years and there is one thing I can say for certain: business printing needs are constantly changing, and office technology is always adapting to keep up with these needs. Just look at office printers of twenty years ago compared to modern printers that have wireless printing, scan to folders, confidential mailbox, and secure print, just to name a few.
Add in the ‘Internet of Things’, which means all devices are connected and communicating with one another, it is clear that printers / copiers are key players when it comes to technological advancement. We’re seeing a gradual move in the expansion of these office networks to the point where employees can access the office printer from their smartphones as well as download apps directly to these multi-function devices.
A few years ago, there was a lot of speculation about ‘the end of print’ and we have definitely seen a downturn in the amount of paper used during this Covid period, however printers / copiers are still very much required, because whether you need to print one page or a thousand, you still need a printer to do it.
As the digital age evolves, so does everything that goes along with it: malware, ransomware and company networks have been breached. This has caused many companies to review their digital security measures and storage of sensitive information.
Many of our clients are well-versed in the digital world and over the past few years I have seen a clear trend: they combine digital storage with hard copies. The reason is simple: if the digital information is somehow corrupted either due to a fault or cybercrime, they have proof of the original. This is vital when it comes to things such as contracts, financial information, legal information, school exams and many other business aspects.
In addition to the above, there is a whole creative world out there that relies on high quality printing in order to bring us everything from the ingredients printed on your box of cereal to the designs on your favourite shirt. At some point in the process there is a print version that needs to be checked and approved.
Side note: The global pandemic once again highlighted the much-debated topic of whether our brains absorb more when reading on a screen or in print. There are plenty of debates out there, and I find it interesting that printed documents still have a bigger impact whether it comes to learning or advertising.