Fit To Print
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shift to work-from-home last year, things didn’t look good for the already-struggling print industry. But while traditional office printing predictably sank, just the opposite happened in countless home offices. In fact, demand for at-home printers and supplies has surged during the pandemic—even while many print solution providers have found greater interest in their support and services offerings for remote users. Ultimately, some parts of the print industry have seen an increase in demand that would’ve been considered “unusual” in the modern working environment, said Keith Kmetz, program vice president for imaging, printing and document solutions at research firm IDC. Without a doubt, Kmetz said, access to printing is “still something that both the office user and the home user wants to have.”
That’s led to a wide range of implications for solution providers—from a continued opportunity around work-from-home printers to an expansion of the managed print services contract to include the home environment. For the print industry as a whole, the developments are also accelerating existing trends such as the growth of ink delivery services, interest in print security and the shift to A4 and multifunction devices. Meanwhile, there are also signs that the outlook for in-office printing is seeing an improvement in 2021 as businesses return to greater office usage this year.
As part of CRN’s Printer Week 2021, we’ve rounded up 10 of the top printer industry trends to watch this year.