The printing industry has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, driven by technological advancements, changing workplace dynamics, and evolving customer expectations. In 2023, these trends continued to reshape the industry, bringing about a wave of innovation and adaptation.
A Changing Landscape
In the past, printing was primarily associated with office environments and traditional paper documents. However, the rise of digitalization and the increasing prevalence of remote work have led to a shift in printing needs and expectations. Businesses are now seeking printing solutions that are more versatile, secure, and user-friendly, catering to the needs of both on-site and remote workers.
Key Trends Shaping the Printing Industry
Several key trends have solidified in 2023 as the printing industry adapts to the changing landscape. These trends include:
End of third-party print drivers
Proprietary print drivers have long been a source of frustration for users, often causing compatibility issues and roadblocking productivity. In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards platform-agnostic solutions that eliminate the need for third-party drivers, and we’ve been at the forefront of that at the Mopria Alliance. In 2023, we saw Microsoft announce the end of support for third-party drivers, with a gradual phase-out between 2025 and 2026. This change is an indicator of the direction printers have been going for a while, thanks to the widespread adoption of Mopria standards amongst industry leaders.
Work from home has forever changed expectations for printers
In a 2023 Mopria Alliance survey of print and scan attitudes and plans, we found that 90% of companies have already established the necessary infrastructure to support remote and hybrid workers in their printing and scanning needs. Remote work policies introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic remain largely in effect across many organizations, and this has had a profound impact on the printing industry. With employees working from home part of the time and at the office the rest of the week, we’ve seen a growing diversity of printing needs. People use printers at home differently than they use printers at work, so there’s an increasing demand for home-office printers that are small, efficient, and easy to use.
Growing awareness of need for better security
In an increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is becoming a top priority for businesses of all sizes, yet in a Quocirca study released this year, only 19% of IT decision makers are completely confident in the security of their print infrastructure. As more and more devices are connected to the internet, the potential for cyberattacks is increasing, and printers are a potential gateway. This has led to a growing demand for printers with enhanced security features, such as encryption and intrusion detection. We’ve focused on this for Mopria print technology, with workplace features and admin settings like PIN printing or required SSL connections for enhanced security.
Increased need for reliability and reduced downtime
In today’s fast-paced business environment, downtime can be costly. In fact, it’s estimated that IT downtime costs enterprise organizations $26.5 billion annually. Businesses are increasingly looking for printers that are reliable and can operate with minimal downtime. This is especially important for businesses that rely on printing for critical tasks, such as customer service or financial transactions. Cloud print infrastructure can reduce downtime for printer maintenance or malfunctioning since IT teams can remotely monitor and manage printers, schedule maintenance, and efficiently troubleshoot issues.
AI will create a competitive advantage
Artificial intelligence and generative AI, a type of AI that can create new content, took the world by storm in 2023, and their influence has great implications for the print industry. From workflow automation to supply chain management, AI has been used in the print industry for years. But innovations are on the horizon for cost savings, improved print quality, better workflow automation, enhanced security, sustainability, and more, which we recently covered with insights from Mopria Alliance members on our blog.
Embrace the Future of Printing
As the printing industry continues to evolve, businesses must adapt their strategies to stay ahead of the curve. By embracing new technologies, investing in security, and providing solutions for remote workers, printing companies can remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers. The future of printing is bright, and those who can embrace change will be well-positioned for success.