How COVID-19 is transforming print

On 14 May, we partnered with Quocirca, a strategic market insight, and intelligence provider to the print industry, to deliver a webinar about the business impact of COVID-19 on printing. It was presented by our CEO, Martin Engdal, and Louella Fernandes, director of Quocirca. Louella is a leading authority on market trends in the print, imaging, and managed services industry.

If you weren’t able to join us, here are some key highlights – but you can also view the webinar at any time and it is also available as a download. It contains a large amount of data and statistics from Quicirca’s surveys, but here we simply provide an overview of trends and opportunities.

The pandemic is deciding who will flourish

The print industry was already undergoing major disruption because of the move to digitized workflows. Now, COVID-19 is triggering a wave of innovation driven by the need for employees to work from home. According to Quocirca, print businesses that can quickly adapt their products, services, and business models are the ones most likely to survive and grow.

The cloud provides scalability, flexibility, and security

Louella Fernandes pointed out that the pandemic will trigger an acceleration of businesses turning to the cloud – not only because of the benefits it offers (notably scalability, flexibility, and security), but because it can reduce capital expenditure and drive operational cost-savings. As we will almost certainly be entering a period of recession, finding new efficiencies will be a top priority for customers.

Of course, One Q has been evangelizing the cloud for a few years now, and we currently offer solutions for private, public, and hybrid clouds.

Influence is moving away from print manufacturers

Print OEMs are losing influence on software and service providers, partly because of the move to digitized workflows and partly because these providers can offer a wide range of added value.

“OEMs will need to think like software companies,” said Louella Fernandes. Their size, lack of agility, and hardware dependence means they’ll need to enter into partnerships with software and service companies in order to drive innovation.

New opportunities

There are obviously opportunities to serve the need for print in the home office, and also to solve the problems created by that need. For example, only about 5% of employers have so far provided printers for use in the home office, which means security problems. However, 50% of companies surveyed by Quocirca say they plan to provide MFPs for employees’ home offices in order to ensure secure, trackable print.

Or, where the employee’s own printer will continue to be used, employers will need to proactively manage the resulting security issues. This might be through additional GDPR training/procedures, providing shredders, or providing a second screen for workers to use so they don’t have to print documents to refer to, for example.

Other new trends

  • Social distancing means employees will no longer be allowed to crowd around MFPs in the workplace
  • Therefore, companies may return to a more distributed printing environment, possibly with print rooms and personal printers
  • Touchless technology will become more mainstream (One Q’s pull-printing is already touchless)
  • Zero-trust security may increase, with strict ID verification for users and devices (as already offered by One Q)

To get all the data and statistics from the survey, and to find out what organizations are saying about the future of print, simply request to view the full webinar yourself.

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