Predicting 2016: Some Things Never Change … Some Things Do

by Martin de Martini | 1/29/16

The year 2016 is here, so naturally it is time to make some predictions about what this year will hold in store for the print and document capture industry.

 

 

Prediction #1 – MPS/Print Management expands to include MCS

Managed Print Services and Print Management will still be very important for IT as a cost control and document security tool. We see this in increased business and increased demand for further ways to reduce the cost of print services. We also see the demand for expanding the solution to include managed content services. More importantly, customers want a single solution that can effectively deliver both.

Prediction #2 – Master of Hardware Doesn’t Equal a Master of Software

As business demand for solutions increases, hardware vendors will acquire software companies or attempt to create their own software-based solutions in misguided efforts to own the customer (instead of partnering with software specialists). Still, we anticipate 2016 will see acquisitions with the intent on supplementing sales with vertical or horizontal software solutions. It will be painful for those involved as hardware and software companies are ‘wired’ differently and rarely does the joining result in what the customer wants which is choice, flexibility and scalability.

Prediction #3 – Internet of Things will Impact the Enterprise

As if the IT department doesn’t have enough to worry about, IT departments will have to consider how new services will hit their network and impact their business. What used to be called Shadow IT – where departments would implement their own solutions such as Dropbox without IT awareness – will now include many points of access to the internal network from a variety of single-purpose devices without IT awareness.

Prediction #4 – 3D Printers will become Networked Devices

Today, enterprises and institutions are realizing the potential of 3D printers. Whether they are printing car parts and assembly pieces, fully finished products or fast prototyping, 3D printing has made an impact on how businesses are manufacturing and how educational institutions are developing curriculum. Much like its 2D sister, 3D printers will become networked devices and the challenge of how to manage print jobs, workflows and cost recovery will become a concern.

Prediction #5 – Mobile Workers Will Outnumber In-office Workers; Remote Workers Increase

The mobile worker trend is already happening; IDC predicts that two-thirds of the total US workforce will be mobile by 2020 pointing to the adoption of smartphones and tablets that enable field work, cost savings of BYOD and technologies such as wearables, biometric readers and augmented reality as enablers. Similar advances in communications mean knowledge works can work remotely. IT will wonder how to control printing/scanning of company confidential material on home or pay-to-use public devices.

Some of these topics are already underway and the prediction is more about its growing adoption taking off in 2016; others like 3D printers as networked devices needing print management, may not be so obvious today. But we are thinking about these and many other trends already.

What isn’t going to change? Broad predictions from pundits about how the latest, new technology will be the death of another. The paperless office and the death of email come to mind. While digital content sounds like a paperless office is possible, the reality for many businesses still includes paper; and Email is still the most convenient and easy to use method for most people.

 

Another thing that will not change is the enterprise’s need for cost efficient, intelligent solutions. The enterprise will always need to stay competitive and solutions like MPS, print management and 3D printing helps enterprises run their businesses more cost-efficiently. 

Martin de Martini is Y Soft Vice President, Transition Management. You can reach Martin at martin.deMartini@ysoft.com.