Technology is continuing to shape the print industry, and it is important that WE continue to evolve as our clients’ challenges also become our own. 2017 was a year of mixed bag for our industry. There were some print manufacturing consolidations, while others in the business found success by focusing on expanding their IT service offerings.
Whatever the business strategy, one thing that rang true for all companies was stressing the importance of print technology and services that help clients combine online and offline marketing efforts.
So what’s in store for 2018? It’s clear that printers need to develop and expand their capabilities. What has worked in the past for years may not work in the future. Your print business model may need to change if it hasn’t already. At Mount Vernon, we have been preparing for this shift in business model with technology and a wide array of business communication services and data security practices.
Here are a few 2018 Trends that will impact the print industry:
Software Investments - Printers should learn from tech vendors. They differentiate themselves by offering innovations in software and also by their speed to market. In other words, don’t just focus on the hardware in the print shop. Software is poised to be one of the biggest differentiators for the print industry according to trend reports. It will also help printers address new challenges like cybersecurity and data privacy for customers (like being HIPPA compliant). Internally, updating your software can certainly improve your digital workflow (i.e. speed to market).
Big Data – This topic is nothing new for us printers, but the use of big data for predictive analytics is really going to escalate. Expect to see better application of predictive analytics with modeling and artificial intelligence and data mining.
Machine learning - This is a hot topic. Expect to see leaders invest more in machine learning to protect print devices. As more printers become more connected, the cyber threats become more real. We must protect equipment and customer data with updated technology (which ties into trend #1). Unsafe legacy equipment no longer does the job in 2018. With machine learning algorithms, threats can be detected and mitigated in real time. Keep your eyes open for cybersecurity services that will be coming out this year to fight those nasty attacks on your data.
My father owned and ran a print shop and now I have the opportunity to be part of one as well. My passion for this industry runs deep. I’m really excited to see the innovation coming down the pike for our industry as we continue to evolve with technology.
Photo by Markus Spiske courtesy of Unsplash.com