So, 2019 is here and we’d like to start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year! As we do every year when we return from the festive break, we’ve been looking ahead and exploring the key trends that are set to have an impact on our industry over the next year or so. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that technology plays a pretty significant role in every single one! Here are a few of the big things to look out for…

Big Data

It’s not new for 2019, but it’s set to grow significantly! Big data is large, complex sets of data, usually derived from new data sources. These data sets are so huge that traditional data processing software simply cannot manage them. These massive volumes of data are important though, because they can be used to address business issues that can’t be addressed in any other way!

The opportunities are endless for big date in our industry, but most manufacturers haven’t capitalised on it yet.Yes, there are some leading MPS suppliers that use analytics to optimise their printing practices, by understanding what is printed or scanned by who and from where, but this is predicted to rise dramatically to a new, unimaginable level. Eventually, manufacturers could use this data to gain customer insights and target them with marketing around new products and services, for example.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

During the next year – and probably for many years to follow – we’ve been told to expect extraordinary things where AI is concerned. Artificial intelligence makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. One of the most “everyday” examples is self-driving cars. 

It might be hard to imagine how the print industry could use artificial intelligence AI, but this disruptive technology is predicted to make dramatic advances where printers are concerned. Using AI-based products, computers can be trained to achieve specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognising the patterns that form. The technology can be used to enhance several existing services offered by printers, such as protection against security threats and paper to digital automation.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT isn’t a new concept, but it’s growing rapidly and is set to really take off in 2019. In case you’re not familiar: It is about connecting devices over the internet and letting them talk to us, applications and each other. Where it’s currently most popular in Britain is home heating and energy use, mainly due to the fact the government is encouraging energy companies to roll our smart meters. They have functions that enable you to turn the heating on remotely or turn it down once it reaches a certain temperature.

As IoT in business gains momentum, MPS providers are predicted to evaluate opportunities to integrate their technologies with IoT platforms. Many MPS providers have a strong legacy in managing IoT devices like printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) on the network. Through device monitoring, analytics, remote diagnostics, and predictive maintenance, MPS platforms already drive the performance, reliability, security, and continuity of the print infrastructure. Business IoT platforms that offer asset management, fault detection, smart analytics, and remote monitoring present a real opportunity for MPS providers to move into this IoT space. This is not just limited to traditional IT end-point devices either – it could most definitely encompass intelligent workplace and smart building assets too.

We’re poised and excited to see how it all unfolds! Watch this space…