3 min read

Over the past decade, we’ve experienced the rise of digital technology. This has taken a significant toll on the printing industry. Trends like remote working and the development of cloud-based systems have heavily impacted the demand for printed goods.

However, there are also opportunities on the horizon due to the increased prevalence of mobile applications, AI and printable merchandising. Here are some of the major factors set to shape the world of printing over the next decade.

Mobile printing solutions

While mobile experiences have become more commonplace in our lives, mobile scanning and printing are still relatively new developments. The next 10 years should provide ample time for these technologies to really bake into the office environment. And that’s down to more and more workers going remote and thus fueling a demand to print offsite. Cloud-based MPS, which stands for Managed Print Services, will also enable more remote printing. This will allow workers to submit jobs to a virtual print server rather than depending on multiple in-house servers.

For most companies, printing will remain an integral part of business-as-usual. In fact, the global print industry is set to grow to $821 billion (£625 billion) in valuation by 2022. In this case, digital technology will only serve as further impetus to facilitate easier printing and scanning.

Impact of AI

While mobile applications have seen unprecedented growth over the past few years, there’s also been the arrival of artificial intelligence. We’re just beginning to see the integration of AI in office environments – by 2030 there should be mass adoption. As a follow on from devices like Amazon’s Alexa, we should begin to see voice-activated printers.

Increase in merchandising

One part of the printing industry that has witnessed booming growth over the past few years is merchandising. Businesses and even smaller, individual outfits have come to understand the importance of brand visibility, particularly in B2B marketing. Water bottles, notepads and even USB sticks and power chargers have all been upgraded with company logos. Speakers, sports equipment, even inflatable furniture have been given out by companies as part of enhancing brand experience. While more businesses are set to invest in these marketing tactics, rising eco-consciousness is likely to create a counter-movement. While businesses may refrain from printing on environmentally harmful items, they’ll seek out biodegradable alternatives to print on instead.

Print control

While on the subject of the environment, most organisations are familiar with the challenges arising from the prevention of overprinting. New software solutions for print control are yet another tool that will enter the printing space. These will shed important insight into the cost and resource use that goes into printing.

Print security

One of the biggest threats imposed on businesses in 2020 and beyond are data and network security issues. Along with laptops, smartphones and tablets, printers will also be enhanced by new security software and systems. These will protect organisations from data breaches and cyber-attacks. Access, control, user authentication and pull printing will all grow more sophisticated and become an integral piece of MPS services.