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The past few years have seen a dramatic upheaval in the way people work, with 70% of full time workers rapidly transitioning to home offices during COVID. In the months and years that followed, we began to see that employee workspace preferences have changed for good. A recent survey by Upwork found that before the pandemic, businesses estimated that 38 percent of their workforce would be fully remote in five years. A year after COVID, however, those businesses expected 58 percent to be fully remote in the same amount of time.


These trends, coupled with emerging technologies for blended in-person and remote experiences, have created space for four key categories of opportunity for print industry companies to effect change through innovation in 2023.

Together with Mopria Alliance members Qualcomm, Microsoft and Adobe, let’s look at four trends and corresponding opportunities for print companies to meet changing demands this year.

TREND 1: WORK FROM EVERYWHERE

At the start of the pandemic, workers were unexpectedly required to set up ad-hoc home workspaces for the foreseeable future. The timeframe was uncertain and few home offices were equipped with the resources and infrastructure to accomplish every task that used to be carried out at the office.

At the start of 2023, the workplace is looking a lot more fluid with a blend of home, office, coworking spaces, and everything in-between. This means that on one hand, employees will most likely upgrade their home office equipment, if they haven’t already. But it also means that they’ll need ways to easily transition to the office or wherever else they plan to accomplish the day’s tasks.

This poses an opportunity for print companies to offer technologies and services that are extremely user friendly, produce higher quality at-home results, and offer intuitive interfaces that can be operated in the absence of IT Support. A recent survey from Mopria Alliance member Adobe, for example, found that about 35 percent of users now consider duplex printing to be a top feature when purchasing a printer for work use at home.

The expected continuation of workplace flexibility also means that print infrastructure will need to evolve to meet cloud adoption and help companies overcome the challenges and inefficiencies of managing a traditional print infrastructure. Data from Quocirca found that cloud print adoption will continue to accelerate, with 43 percent of organizations already implementing a cloud print management platform, and 37 percent reporting plans to do so in the next two years.

Hand-in-hand is the need for an evolution in printer security. Print security hardware features have become more standardized, so next we’ll look to adjacent software and services for a multi-layered approach to print infrastructure security that further minimizes risk as employees continue to print work documents from a variety of spaces.

“For those that need to print as part of their job, a universal, secure, streamlined print experience is key when splitting time between home and office. Print solutions that work from any device to any printer can help ensure productivity regardless of working environment. And the good news is that these kinds of solutions are now available in the form of universal print drivers and cloud print solutions based on industry standards, guaranteeing they will work when (and where) needed.”
Philip Mazzilli, Staff Product Manager, Printers & Imaging, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

TREND 2: SUSTAINABILITY

More of a requirement than a trend, we certainly expect sustainability targets to attract increased scrutiny as time goes on. This means that more and more organizations will embrace digitization to reduce print costs, improve efficiencies, and lower their environmental impact. This poses an opportunity for print service providers to support their customers by innovating new technologies that provide an increasing level of sustainability.

Employees will need to think before they create printed copies of that spreadsheet, meeting agenda or report, for example, and will need digitization alternatives that work just as flawlessly and scanning can accomplish just that. Microsoft Windows supports Mopria scan technology to ensure seamless scanning from many Mopria certified scanners and multi-function printers, meaning Windows will automatically install the Mopria certified device without needing additional software or drivers. This makes scanning easy regardless of the scanner or multi-function printer brand. Learn more about scanning with Windows here.

“Print and scan companies can drive progress towards a more sustainable future by developing innovative technologies that help reduce environmental impact. Organizations can leverage the latest the tools and capabilities to support sustainable workplace practices while also driving business growth and success.
For example, one option is PIN release, which allows employees to enter a unique PIN code at the printer to release their print job. This ensures that only authorized people can print jobs, and only those jobs they intend to collect, helping prevent waste and improving security.”

“Another option is for organizations to deploy Universal Print using a new feature that allows employees to scan a QR code using their mobile device at a printer to release their print jobs. This feature is expected to further streamline the printing process for workers and increase printing efficiency.

Kris Iverson, Principal Development Manager, Microsoft

TREND 3: WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE

Influenced by rising work-from-home trends, current and future concept workplace models are increasingly providing more sociable, collaborative environments. This also will be largely shaped by Gen Z as more and more younger people enter the workforce with their own expectations around workplace technology.

As office spaces continue to integrate systems that help employees transition from remote workspaces to on-site hot desks, conference rooms, offices and more, we expect to see more smart building technology and IoT ecosystems. This creates opportunities for multi-function printer brands to develop innovative concepts that support and enhance these upcoming office features.

We also expect to see the metaverse shaping new office experiences, a trend we saw on display at CES 2023. VR and AR will continue to be adopted into workplaces and hybrid workstyles, and printer companies should look to innovate or partner in these virtual collaboration spaces.

“A trend we see is the move from one device per employee, only accessible at the office desk, to multiple devices per employee which move around the office building and are even used at home and during the commute. Not all devices will have been provided by the employer, but the employee needs to provide frictionless access from any device to any resource in any location, including printers and scanners. Printing and scanning should be as easy as checking your email or receiving a slack message.”

“We use the cloud to connect devices in different places, whether that’s accessing a server at the office while working from home, or remotely unlocking a door for a visitor. Printing or scanning via the cloud – over wired networks, WiFi or 5G – will enable employees to be productive without barriers, wherever they are and whatever devices are available.”
Mike Scrutton, Director of Print Technology and Strategy, Adobe

TREND 4: DATA AND PARTNERSHIPS CAN DRIVE GROWTH

Our final trend to consider for 2023 is the opportunity for data and partnerships to serve as growth-drivers for printer brands.

Industry players cannot miss the opportunity to leverage data to better understand customer behavior and pinpoint opportunities to deliver print-adjacent services. And sometimes, those services can be best provided through a partnership or collaboration. Multi-function printer providers can quickly tap into greater channel growth by identifying partnership opportunities with specialists in adjacent areas to deliver a suite of workspace solutions. These could be arenas like cybersecurity, sustainability, IT services, workplace technology, and more.

ADAPTABILITY WILL CONTINUE TO DEFINE PRINTING NEEDS

Taking a holistic look at the 2023 trends we’ve identified, we can be sure that consumers and businesses will continue to need greater flexibility and adaptability in their printers. Standout players will be those who can stay nimble and future-thinking, always innovating new technologies that stay on the leading edge of current workplace trends.

MOPRIA ALLIANCE exemplifies the power of collaboration between leading companies in the worldwide printer and scanner business. Founded in 2013 by Canon, HP, Samsung, and Xerox, the alliance’s mission is to provide universal standards and solutions for print and scan. This ensures a seamless experience for the customer with end-to-end print and scan technologies for both consumers and businesses.

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Mopria Alliance

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