Where Is Print Heading? Unveiling the Future of Print Management with Visual Edge IT

By Eric Stavola, Vice President, Managed Services Sales and Programs

The print industry, frequently scrutinized under the antiquated lens of obsolescence, is currently poised at an exciting threshold. Questions like, “Do people still print?” or “What’s the future of print?” challenge us to disband widespread misconceptions about print management and to illuminate the path of an industry not fading, but rather transforming in profound ways.

Before we delve into the trajectory of print’s future, it’s imperative to rectify one common misunderstanding: The evolution of print is not solely contingent upon the devices we use; it hinges on the “experience” these devices facilitate—an experience enriched by innovation and connectivity.

Printers: The Unconventional IoT Devices

Far from being simple output machines, printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) have matured into sophisticated Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Once tethered to our networks, printers and MFPs alike transitioned from peripheral units to pivotal elements within our IT infrastructure. In industries such as insurance and healthcare, where data privacy and secure data management are not just preferences but prerequisites, recognizing and adapting to this evolution is crucial. Our narrative must migrate from “managing printers” to adeptly orchestrating an array of non-standard IoT devices—a narrative for Managed Print Services (MPS).

Navigating the MPS Journey

The printing sector’s journey has transitioned from basic hardware provision and maintenance to a nuanced MPS approach. This shift focuses on more than print output; it zooms in on enhancing document workflows, fortifying security, and propelling operational efficiency—factors of paramount importance to sectors like insurance, healthcare and others., Such factors further translate directly into competitive advantage by enhancing processes, ensuring security, and boosting efficiency. These are crucial for businesses in virtually any industry where efficient and secure MPS-based processes can provide a significant competitive advantage.

MPS Journey Unfolds in Several Maturity Stages:

The nature of technology itself is that it evolves in stages as innovation drives further development and discovery. Tech-driven services evolve in the same way, and the maturation stages of Managed Print Services remain a notable example.

  • Basic: Initially, MPS focused on supplying hardware, performing routine maintenance tasks, and providing necessary materials.
  • Managed: With technological advancements, businesses implemented advanced MPS solutions, offering improved visibility into printing and document management processes.
  • Optimized: Businesses embraced automation, AI, and analytics to optimize processes. Security protocols and sustainability practices took center stage.
  • Innovative: Integration of IoT capabilities into systems, along with mobile printing options, led to significant process enhancements.
  • Transformative: The final stage sees a complete transformation, with MPS becoming a competitive edge that fosters industry innovation.

Again, the transformation of MPS has continued to substantially benefit businesses in sectors like insurance and healthcare, among others, where agility, security, and operational efficiency are primely necessary.

Facilitating Hybrid Work Models: Agility in Action

In this era of remote work, which remains robust even among calls to return to office environments, supporting hybrid work models is essential. The stages of MPS transformation in this case have been:

  • Basic: No remote access or mobile printing capabilities.
  • Managed: Basic remote access and mobile printing capabilities.
  • Optimized: Full adoption of remote working and mobile printing solutions.
  • Innovative: Use of virtualization and AI.
  • Transformative: Complete transformation of document management for remote working.

Sustainability: A Greener, More Resilient Future

Sustainability is not optional; it’s crucial to any modern print strategy. The progression is as follows:

  • Basic: Environmental impact is not actively considered.
  • Managed: Rudimentary sustainability measures are implemented.
  • Optimized: Complete embrace of sustainable solutions, including Business Resiliency facets.
  • Innovative: Leveraging digitalization and renewable energy sources.
  • Transformative: Cutting-edge technology propelling high levels of sustainability and Business Resiliency. As we advance, embracing technology for sustainability becomes an integral part of our strategies.

Visual Edge IT: Navigating the Innovative Print Landscape

In a world where digital documents increasingly overshadow physical prints, Visual Edge IT comprehends the broadened scope of print management. We recognize that the current discourse on print transcends binary choices, addressing the intricate challenges and opportunities present in the realm of sophisticated IoT devices. These devices are now fundamental to a modern print infrastructure, especially in sectors that demand high levels of security and precision.

At Visual Edge IT, our mission is to redefine Managed Print Services, transforming them into a strategic facet of the digital landscape. We’re not just adapting to change—we are the harbingers of it. By weaving cutting-edge technologies into the fabric of our services, we empower process enhancement, security fortification, and competitive differentiation for our clients.

Print technology is teeming with life, evolving as a beacon of innovation that propels the convergence of the physical and digital. At Visual Edge IT, we’re navigating this transformation, ensuring that as the hardcopy transitions to the digital document, the essence of advanced print solutions solidifies as a keystone of a smart, connected office.

Join us at Visual Edge IT as we chart this bold new course, where each decision in printing is a deliberate stride towards a digitally integrated, efficiency-oriented, and securely bound future. Together, let’s embrace this metamorphosis—where the future of printing doesn’t just endure, it flourishes.