The printing industry is undergoing significant changes as seen in other industries: digitization, modernization, data-based decision making, and other technology-focused shifts. These shifts represent the needs of the modern consumer, which include the need to have personalized printed materials as efficiently and quickly as possible.
And like other industry technology trends, the printing and office supply tech environment is filled with buzzwords, lingo, and jargon that is extremely novel to most consumers. Additionally, office supply companies and vendors want to take advantage of these technologies without really knowing what they do.
Advanced technology can help businesses achieve certain goals such as reducing inefficiencies, increasing ROI, and improving print quality across all departments. However, it is important to understand which printing tech solutions are the most feasible in this day and age.
Here are the top 10 emerging printing tech trends that make sense for most businesses to pursue. Some of the technologies on this list are readily applicable to your business needs while others need just a bit more time to be develop.
But eventually, all of these technologies will soon be the industry-standard in printing tech:
Cybersecurity is one of the hottest technology trends across all major industries but has direct applications to printing technology and software. Many printers are now equipped with enhanced encryption software, security features, and even ID authentication to ensure that your printed materials and digital files are secured.
Cloud support on printers and printing software:
Cloud storage and sharing are a huge part of many businesses both small and large to efficiently transfer documents. MFPs and MFDs are starting to roll out with the ability to print documents from cloud storage with relative ease.
Digitally-integrated printing workflows:
Printing queues are already optimized on several MFP models with software that can organize printing queues. However, businesses should expect to see models take these capabilities even further and integrate with project management software.
Smart MFP and MFD technology that leverage data analytics:
MFPs and similar MFDs can detect when toner ink are low and when certain types of documents won’t have enough ink to complete a print. Many printers and similar devices are rolling out with capabilities to use analytics, based on regular printing queues, to improve printer efficiency.
Artificial intelligence or “AI” is a developing but steadily improving feature of MFPs. Soon though, businesses of all sizes should be able to utilize MFPs that can automatically schedule prints and offer other automated features.
Print-supported digital whiteboards
Digital whiteboards or “smartboards” are enhanced platforms that offer the same usability as a white board but allow integration with programs like PowerPoint, anti-virus software, and similar tools to provide high-quality presentations. Print-supported smartboards can allow brainstorming session or meeting notes to be printed instantly from the content on the board to an MFP.
Scanners that help secure and store sensitive data
Scanning technology has already come a long way. But expect more features related to cybersecurity and cloud sharing to help improve scanning workflow and document security.
Inkjet printing with advanced speeds and customization options
Inkjet is already highly utilized within private household as well as within small and large businesses. However, the need for more customized printing materials and specialized documents will see new enhancements in inkjet printing from MFPs.
Voice-activated technology is fairly new outside of smartphone tech. But small consumer printers are likely to provide voice-activated printing that allow documents to print on command. Commercial MFPs are already on the cusp of making this technology available for businesses.
Printer integration with other devices and technologies
Most printers still integrate with just computer software and leave little room for integration with other devices. However, MFPs are poised to allow integration with other technologies seamlessly without the need for other software types.
If you’re interested in learning more about printer models and MFPs with some of these technologies, contact us today!