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­Does Document Printing Matter in our Digital, Mobile, Paperless Office?

Never Assume! Reprographic printers: Digital Printing.

Technology moves fast.  Trends move fast.  Manufacturers of mobile devices are keen to share that in 2014 the number of Mobile Computer users over took Desktop Computing users.  And this mobile technology is making content accessible anytime anywhere.  Could it be that these tablets, smart phones and the whole ‘Bring Your Own Device’ strategy is making hardcopy output obsolete?

IT departments, Office managers and FD’s are under pressure to make savings and contain costs, and at face value this trend towards the Digital. Mobile and Paperless Office suggests opportunities to reduce print costs.  If people are not needing to print so much there’s savings in the form of fewer printers, fewer servers, less maintenance and fewer consumables.  Its true people are not printing so much and office print volumes have declined over the years.

But, things are not entirely as they seem.  Let’s consider this statistic that mobile computer users out number desk top.  It is true and the gap widens, and doesn’t look like reversing.  However, as so often with statistics the devil is in the detail, as even though that trend has continued, during office hours use of desktop devices remains higher than that of mobiles.  The more things change, the more they stay the same – these desktop users will be needing to print!

Moreover, print clearly has its place in reaching beyond the Digital and in keeping communications more personal.  However tied we become to our mobile devices, we still prefer many communications to be in hard copy, like contracts, forms, handouts and promotional materials.

And, Digital Devices are not the panacea for accessing content.  The systems can be complex, hardware can have problems with reliability and susceptibility to failure (accidental or malicious), and off course – we still have connectivity issues.  Its still true that a printed A4 document is always available just when security needs to access a visitors list.

The issue isn’t whether there’s a need for printed copy in a digital world, there is, and while there’s a human element to your business, there always will be.  The issue, or challenge, is getting the right balance of digital access, to hard copy print that meets the business needs while keeping costs as low as possible.

Fortunately technology in print has moved on too.  Today’s Managed Print Services, Multifunction Printers, Intelligent Print Servers (See our previous blog on ‘Follow Me Print’), Energy and Consumable Efficient Printers coupled with attractive commercial/finance products have driven print cost lower and lower.  Allowing businesses to manage cost and provide their staff, clients and visitors to work efficiently, and effectively – with both digital and where people feel the need – hard copy access to documents and content.

It seems Digital Devices have not brought about the end of the need for hard copy print, but may be accelerating the demises of old, inefficient and expensive print solutions.

If your organisation is suffering from changing requirements, inflexible print services and rising costs, we can really help – lets talk.