Quocirca’s Print Industry Trends for 2022 identifies opportunities for print and digital transformation in the hybrid work era.
As organisations fast-tracked digital transformation and customers embraced digital experiences, the print industry has experienced an irrevocable shift over the past year. Print and digital convergence demands that print industry leaders urgently reinvent their business models. A legacy of success based on traditional models means little in today’s business landscape, which is driven by experiences rather than products alone.
Customers expect more connected, personalised and intelligent services from their technology providers. In order to transform to become tech leaders and technology service providers, success will rely on the ability to become data driven and leverage cloud, AI and automation.
Quocirca has identified the following 10 trends that will shape the print and digital convergence in the hybrid work era in 2022
1. Hybrid work will spur transformation of distributed print and digital workflows
Hybrid working is here to stay with 63% of respondents expecting to work flexibly between the home and office. To unlock the benefits of hybrid working, organisations will need to ensure workplace equity. This means creating consistent employee experiences regardless of where or when they work. Extending managed print services (MPS) to the home environment will ensure that organisations can manage and secure a hybrid and agile print infrastructure. As organisations accelerate their digitisation initiatives, flexible and scalable integrated print and capture solutions will be key to driving employee productivity.
2. Print security blind spots will persist due to the expanded threat landscape
The attack surface has expanded to include personal devices which are now part of the broader corporate network. The cloud has created new vulnerabilities in the remote landscape, where small businesses are just as susceptible to cyber attacks and data breaches as large businesses. This is pushing the need for secure workplace solutions based on zero trust where identity access management is a core feature. As organisations look to secure their workforce while balancing user experience and productivity, print manufacturers must deliver secure endpoint security and data flows. Security assessments and ongoing management will continue to be key differentiators.
Read more about zero trust opportunities for MPS providers.
3. Sustainability and purpose-driven technology will be higher on the agenda
As organisations accelerate their sustainability initiatives, manufacturers and channel partners must deliver technology services with a lower environmental impact. This can be achieved through enhanced data analysis and reporting, along with circular products and services, carbon data analysis, and process automation. For instance, IoT sensors and cloud-based platforms can unlock new opportunities for measurement and monitoring of environmental impact in smart building and office environments. In addition, cloud print services can play a part here – shifting customers from many on-premises servers to the cloud presents the opportunity to reduce IT consumption of energy and related carbon emissions.
Read more about smart buildings and sustainability
4. The Great Resignation will increase use of workforce analytics to improve employee experience
Many companies are facing an exodus of employees who are re-evaluating their work/life balance. Amidst ‘The Great Resignation’, creating digital experiences that enhance employee engagement as well as improve employee productivity will be key to attracting and retaining talent. Technology will play a crucial role in helping organisations build hybrid work models that create a more inclusive and collaborative experience for employees.
With a renewed emphasis on employee experience, MPS providers should consider how they can help their customers realise the full potential of the hybrid work model through workspace design and optimisation services.
Read more about The Great Resignation and MPS opportunities
5. Cloud momentum will boost cloud print services adoption
Cloud has been the lynchpin of rapid digital transformation for many organisations. Scalability, reduced IT burden and agility are seeing more organisations accelerate their shift to the cloud. However, customers are at different points on their cloud journey, and it is not necessarily all or nothing for most organisations. MPS providers should build cloud expertise to enable customers to extend their legacy infrastructure to cloud environments but also give access to new technologies and future proof the IT environment. 2022 will see opportunities to guide customers on their cloud journey, while taking advantage of cloud-based print management and document workflow platforms. Print industry leaders that can create a differentiated offering for SMBs and large enterprises will be best positioned for success. This means create a compelling cloud proposition and participating in the cloud marketplace ecosystem to capitalise on growing cloud adoption.
Read more about Cloud Print Services
6. Smart building and IoT technology will shape intelligent workspaces
Workplace efficiency and sustainability will accelerate use of smart building technology. IoT-enabled smart buildings are presenting new opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) in the post-pandemic workplace. As more businesses work to attract employees to go back to the office, they are considering how to ensure their operations run efficiently, securely and sustainably, while supporting staff wellbeing.
Smart buildings powered by cloud-connected IoT devices and sensors could provide the answer. Such technology solutions include environmental sensors, occupancy monitoring, touchless technology and desk/room booking.
Read more about smart buildings and IoT Trends
7. Advanced analytics will unlock digitisation opportunities
Print industry leaders must become data driven and embed a data-driven culture across their organisation. This goes beyond data analytics to becoming insight-driven to gain true customer intelligence. Manufacturers must use their goldmines of data – across products and customers – not only to improve product design but also to deliver new business models and drive better customer engagement.
One of the many challenges facing the print industry is understanding the changing digital customer and connecting disparate data silos to predict customer needs. Predictive analytics is key to turning disparate customer data into coherent insights and provides a means for MPS providers to uncover further revenue opportunities for digital workflow automation services.
Read more and about the analytics opportunity for MPS providers
8. Managed IT Services will offer expanded growth opportunities
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) look set to take a deeper role in guiding organisations with their technology roadmap. Forthcoming Quocirca research reveals that mid-size and large enterprises are receptive to a single provider that offers MPS and IT services capabilities.
The top reasons for using an MSP are to address complexity with legacy infrastructure, access new technologies and reduce IT burden. MPS providers that are looking to expand their capabilities into the IT space must build or gain access to expertise across security, cloud, analytics and automation to truly differentiate in a crowded marketplace. Selling IT services requires completely different skills and expertise than traditional MPS.
It will be important for MPS providers to build relevance in this space through existing customer relationships or partnering with established MSPs.
Read more about the latest MPS trends
9. Intelligent automation will become more accessible boosting workforce productivity
Intelligent automation will help organisations reduce cost, mitigate risks and improve user experience. While intelligent automation, enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) can help re-imagine or optimise existing business processes, robotic process automation (RPA) can automate existing manual and repetitive tasks. As such, intelligent automation can free up employees to focus on high value tasks.
Over the next year, RPA will become accessible to more businesses, bridging the gap between manual interaction and full automation.
10. The enterprise metaverse will ignite use of immersive virtual collaboration
The metaverse promises to create an immersive, interactive and shared digital world that brings together mixed reality – augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – along with 3D holographic avatars, IoT and digital twins. Microsoft has already put a stake in the ground for the enterprise metaverse with Mesh for Microsoft Teams, launching in 2022, which combines the mixed reality capabilities of the Mesh platform with Teams, enabling people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences.
As the return to the office gets fully underway, building digital twins of offices will enable businesses to create more immersive experiences. While it may seem early days for the business metaverse, immersive and interactive technology like VR and AR looks set to change the face of virtual collaboration.
Read more about the metaverse and future of work.
Ultimately, a broader service portfolio will help print industry leaders deliver more strategic value to their customers. This requires a change in mindset, engaging with more technology vendors and developing a broader partner ecosystem.