Rather than being done away with, paper and packaging print is taking its place as an indispensable part of everyday life and business, and to accommodate this, the industry has made significant shifts in its approach to technology, efficiency and sustainability. In the coming year, these areas will be enhanced to accommodate the necessity of print.
Predictions of a paperless future for homes and offices have been proven wrong, as the years leading up to 2023 have seen an increase in paper usage.
Smart Printing And IoT Integration
Printing devices with smart integration will continue to build momentum in 2024 and beyond. Smart printers equipped with IoT capabilities such as cloud services make remote working and remote monitoring easier and more efficient, and with hybrid work environments becoming more common across the business landscape, so too will smart printers.
Green Printing Practices
According to a study published by McKinsey & Co, 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents say that they consider sustainability when they make a purchase. With consumers becoming more conscious of the impact their purchasing decisions have on the environment, sustainability will be a key driver for the print industry in the coming year.
Climate change is a reality we are already seeing, and with that, the print landscape has shifted dramatically. Businesses are feeling the pressure to embrace sustainable practices and reduce commercial carbon footprints. Home printer users are equally vigilant about their contributions to the environment.
‘The coming year will see an even greater emphasis on green printing practices across the business and consumer spheres because of this,’ said Timothy Thomas, Country Manager at Epson South Africa.
With demand for more efficient and sustainable printing on the rise, leading multifunctional technology companies will continue to diversify and develop their offerings to meet expectations. With sustainability a major priority among consumers, as well as no real end in sight for load shedding, office and home users will be glad to know that energy efficiency and generator or inverter capable equipment is also high up on the list among printer manufacturers.
‘As printing companies level up their offerings, more businesses are expected to reconsider their current printer fleets, opting for more sustainable, energy efficient and technologically advanced equipment,’ added Thomas.
Secure On-The-Go Printing
With mobile printing taking off, users will look to ensure the security of their connections to protect from digital fraud and other cyber security threats. As such, more businesses are expected to adopt zero trust environment policies. This is a security measure that requires all users, whether within or outside of an organisation’s network, to undergo continuous authentication protocols before being granted access to make use of print and other devices.
3D Printing On The Rise
With 3D printing technology paving the way for improved and lightning-fast prototyping, not to mention bringing complex and customised designs to life, the print industry will likely see increased adoption of 3D printing in 2024 across a number of sectors, from healthcare to automotive.
‘The printing industry is expected to undergo significant changes in 2024, driven by advancements in technology, the importance of sustainability and changing consumer preferences. Businesses that want to stay competitive and meet sustainability targets will need to embrace these trends. Additionally, with a rise in remote and hybrid work, people will be searching for more efficient and convenient ways to remain productive,’ concluded Thomas.
EPSON SOUTH AFRICA