Guest Column | January 17, 2017

4 Print And Document Trends To Adopt In 2017

Martin deMartini, Y Soft

By Martin deMartini, Senior Vice President, Standardization, Y Soft

If digital transformation is not on your New Year’s resolution list, it should be. This includes changing operations to take advantage of technologies such as cloud and software as a service (SaaS), as well as ensuring the security of these services.

Some businesses are sluggish to realize the benefits of extending this approach to print and digital document workflows or have overlooked it altogether. In 2017, there is a phenomenal opportunity for organizations to reap the benefits of the latest advances to drastically improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase document security.

[Photo caption: Students at Technical School Prosek, Czech Republic, use YSoft be3D eDee printers at their school.]

Gartner says print services typically consume 1 to 3 percent of IT’s overall budget. Businesses that adopt digital transformation tools can reduce their spending in this area by up to 50 percent and use those savings on other IT projects. Following are four print and document trends organizations should consider in 2017.

1.Cloud-based enterprise services on the rise. IT departments are rapidly integrating with cloud-based services to reduce costs and meet the needs of remote and mobile workers. Consequently, enterprises are using hybrid or full public cloud services to integrate with their existing on premise systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), print services, and document repositories. In 2017, organizations should expect all enterprise software solution providers to have a cloud-based option.

2.Subscription-based models for print management. SaaS is not a new concept, but mature industries such as the print and document imaging industry have been slower than others to adopt it. In 2017, savvy customers looking for ways to efficiently manage infrastructure and operating costs will request SaaS for their print management.

3.Managed Print Services (MPS) for digital transformation. Recent research has revealed 80 percent of respondents who utilize MPS were looking to grow strategically through efficiency in digital transformation. As a result, customers are expecting more from their MPS providers in order to utilize their smart multifunction printers (MFPs) and interconnected software to support digitization initiatives. These often use direct integration with enterprise content management (ECM) and include automated document workflows to support the transition to paperless operations and to support an increasingly mobile staff.

MPS also helps you improve document security. Every day, organizations are at risk of document security risks they may not have even thought of: the MFP. It prints, scans, and copies an organization’s most sensitive information, and may be the place where all previous security efforts are rendered useless because confidential data is going undetected. In 2017, the same attention to security that is afforded to other IT areas will be needed for document handling to ensure a more comprehensive risk mitigation strategy. In 2017, businesses should demand MPS providers help deliver their digital transformation.

4.Increased 3D printing solutions. The rise of 3D printing, especially in education, will continue. With the right strategy, 3D printers can do more than just introduce modern technology into the education process. They are particularly valuable when it comes to strengthening students’ motivation to learn. While 3D printer adoption will continue, 2017 will see a demand for tools that help educators manage access and costs. Additionally, as multiple 3D printers arrive on their network, efficient workflows and the ability to recover costs through student pay-to-print options will be required.

Martin deMartini is Senior Vice President, Standardization at Y Soft. He can be reached via email at: