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Print industry braced for change as disruption hits

Looking ahead to 2025 the print industry is going to go through major changes and vendors and resellers need to start preparing now

A major study into the future of the printing world has lifted the stone on a world that is expecting growth but is also aware of the need for change as digital transformation becomes more widespread.

The main takeaways from the Quocirca Global Print 2025 market insight study is that the majority (60%) of manufacturers are feeling positive about future growth.

Even more of those quizzed by the analyst firm (71%) were aware that disruption is coming. A slight concern was that only 39% expressed confidence that they were ready for future changes.

Part of the problem there might be the difficulty in predicting what is coming next. Some industry players talk of more managed print services with others painting a picture of a customer base that has moved beyond that and is collaborating in different ways, reducing the importance of traditional printing.

The Quocirca contribution to the crystal ball gazing was to ask the industry what it expected and 64% of employees still expected printed documents to be important in 2025.

The workplace is going to change and as a result printing will evolve to become even more mobile and cloud-based. Vendors shared an awareness with Quocirca of the need to shift more of their business towards a services play.

“The print industry needs to reinforce its relevance to the changing workplace and the millennial generation that inhabits it. With conventional print volumes and influence with customers declining, the industry must turn its attention to delivering a service-centric model that combines mobility, flexibility and security alongside big data insights that improve performance and efficiency for customers," said Louella Fernandes, director of research at Quocirca.

“Manufacturers must use their trusted brand capital as a springboard for innovation, evolving intelligently to explore new opportunities while protecting legacy business. An open approach to partnering with innovative newcomers who offer complementary software and service solutions is crucial to future success," she added.

The printing industry is going to have to work harder on the security front with a high number of customers looking to spend in that area as they look to protect data.

“The workplace is evolving at an unprecedented rate. As the importance of conventional print declines and digitisation initiatives accelerate, we discovered an industry that is acutely aware of the strategic need to adapt to survive in the face of disruption," said Fernandes.

The analyst firm advised vendors and print channel specialists to lay the groundwork now to prepare for the digital future to make sure they stayed ahead of the curve.

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