Over the past 18 months, many of the ways we work, socialise, and interact with others has changed.
Businesses, of all sizes, have had to adapt to be able to provide the level of service that their customers expect.
As we move into the next months and years, some of those changes may become redundant. But many will remain as they prove how they help businesses thrive and stay on top of technology, no matter what the circumstance.
Printing trends emerging from COVID are bound by new and developing technologies, as businesses learn how to maintain a strong presence in an ever-changing environment.
Being forced to switch from some of the tried-and-tested, paper processes, over to digital systems, might have been a rude shock to many businesses.
However, with the teething problems relating to changing any system, come the benefits – and many of the pros vastly outweigh the cons.
Cloud-based workflow and infrastructures offer businesses streamlined processes that are easier to track and trace, plus the ability to collect data easily and quickly.
The role multifunctional printers (MFPs) will play in this will be significant, as more of our paper-based processes are replaced by a digital alternative.
Add in the ability to enhance cost-effectiveness and sustainable measures across the business landscape and cloud-base print management is overwhelmingly likely to expand.
Keep your hands to yourself has taken on a whole new meaning, thanks to COVID.
Technologies such as smart-card authentication, or biometrics, such as voice or facial recognition, will be just some of the emerging technologies companies will use to reduce virus transmission over the coming months and years.
Smart MPFs will need to offer touchless features to be able to keep up with what is likely to be the new normal.
Once the technology of big-business, bigger-budget industries, 3D printing is now offering even small start-ups, affordable, creative ways to provide products and services to customers quickly, and without a crushing price tag.
From customising products, to producing small-scale prototypes at minimal cost, 3D printing is being embraced by many as one of the technologies that will help businesses thrive in an uncertain time.
Secure printing at home
Other than the constant mess of papers on the kitchen bench and trying to work while your kids are hovering for yet another snack, working from home threw up some other issues, notably the increased need for businesses to address issues of securing data.
With multiple devices, including home printers, being able to store company data, it’s vital that the machines we are using in the home offer security functions our companies can rely on.
If unsecured printers put companies at risk, there will no doubt be a further push to deliver office-in-a-box bundles to households that contain secure devices, including home printers, that businesses can carefully monitor.