This year is sure to bring a number of changes as we all start to adapt to the new world, post-COVID. A post-pandemic world is sure to bring with it a number of new technologies and trends – as the way we do business, as well as live our personal lives, will be impacted. With this in mind, we asked some of our members what printing trends might emerge post-COVID and in the coming months.
Mike Scrutton, Director of Print Technology & Strategy, Adobe
For many people, there won’t be a complete return to normal post-COVID. There will be more work done from home, from coffee shops, and other transient areas, and the office will be a place that we go to have face-to-face meetings that we couldn’t do elsewhere. Printing usage will also change – we’ll want to print wherever we are, and from any device, and we won’t want to be restricted. That doesn’t necessarily mean having printers wherever we are – we might want to initiate a print from one place and pick it up on our way or when reaching our destination.
Greg Shipmon, Director, Channel Development, B2B Marketing, Brother International Corporation
One trend in particular on which Brother is focused lies with the business model itself. As we move into a post-COVID world, we believe many customers will become interested in more flexible operating expense (OpEx) models versus the more common capital expense (CapEx) models. With that in mind, Brother is piloting a flat-fee subscription program to be able to bring those contractual offerings to interested customers. Ultimately, as businesses think differently about how they acquire, use and consume office equipment post-COVID, Brothers will be at their side to support and meet their needs.
Michael Hilburg, Customer and Market Insights Manager, HP Inc.
I have been looking at my computer screen for 8+ hours today; my eyes are tired, I have a “digital headache.”
The pandemic-driven increase in digital tools is actually driving us to seek more offline content. We are in the middle of a digital and printed experience renaissance. Parents and teachers rely more on printed materials to improve student learning. Employees working from home use print to ensure the quality of their work stands out. Puzzles and printed books inspire creative thought. Post-pandemic, our lives will continue to become increasingly digital, but the enduring value and power of the printed page will continue to trend upward.
Dilinur Wushour, Manager, Software Applications Development, Kyocera Document Solutions
Digital transformation has been with us for some years, but with the global pandemic, it has quickly become an urgent reality for many organizations. The market movement towards cloud has accelerated rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic and cloud printing will play an integral part in the new normal. We will see the transition to a cloud-based print infrastructure as organizations look to deliver an efficient, secure, and cost-effective print environment that supports today’s rapidly evolving hybrid workplace. Cloud print platforms enable mobile workers to print conveniently from anywhere, anytime, to any device. Given the growth in remote working, Data Loss Prevention features will be vital to securing printing in the home environment.
Kris Iverson, Principal Development Manager, Microsoft
Microsoft Windows data indicated a drop in printing volume at the start of the world-wide pandemic and sustained for several months. Printing volume gradually recovered and is now continuing the upward trend we saw prior to COVID-19. Printing did not stop during the pandemic, but we can’t see in our data where people are printing. We believe printing shifted from at-the-office to other locations – home, field offices, etc. This new trend of printing in more flexible environments will likely define customer behavior in the post-COVID world. Printing will continue with organizations adapting to more flexible, more remote, and hybrid workplaces.
Philip Mazzilli, Staff Product Manager, Printers & Imaging, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
During 2020, as work-from-home became prevalent, employers and employees realized that working at home actually “works”. Productivity didn’t go down without in-person manager oversight. Morale didn’t sink without Friday afternoon happy hour. Communication didn’t stop without the break room. And printing didn’t stop without the departmental copier. Print did move from those copiers to small devices that fit in a home office. Since manufacturers have worked hard to put BIG features on these LITTLE printers, users have been happy with their print experience while at home. Expect working-from-home to continue, not out of necessity, but out of preference. Likewise, printing-from-home will continue.