Mobile devices to shoot up printing demand

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 07, 2013

mobile print

Even though mobile printing solutions have existed for nearly a decade, the printing industry in general was going through turbulent times and that kept even mobile printing on the back burner. This is because with the glut of mobile devices and adoption of mobility, enterprises were dreaming of a paperless office where printers were not expected to have much role to play. Strangely, research reveals that the same mobility trend is expected to drive the demand for these printing solutions and mobile printing is soon to make a comeback.

A recent IDC survey reveals that the number of mobile workers across the globe will reach 1.3 billion by 2015, while at the same time the proliferation of smartphone and tablet and concepts such as BYOD in the workplace, enterprise workers envision themselves printing from their mobile devices over the next few years. In a survey of 800 enterprise mobile users, IDC reveals that nearly 75 percent respondents said that by 2015, they will be sending print jobs from their smartphones or tablets.

BYOD to trigger mobile printing
According to the research firm, the rise in the tablet market and the growing acceptance of BYOD program in the enterprise, C-suites and executives will be required to print various applications and docs for official reasons from their ipads or Androids.

“The utopian goal of the paperless office isn’t a near-term reality. So, as printing remains a needed function to support business activities, organizations need to address and support mobile printing,” states Cara Shockley, a senior business manager at Hewlett-Packard in her latest blog.

She believes that with the recent BYOD phenomenon, if mobile printing support is not offered, lack of productivity and security issues would arise in the workplace. However, some analysts argue that a large percentage of mobile users currently do not know how to print from their mobile devices and most companies, at least in the emerging nations, are yet to embrace and enable mobile printing. So, it is only by educating enterprises and creating large scale awareness on mobile printing, this segment will accelerate.

As a Quocirca report titled, “The mobile print enterprise” suggests, by incorporating mobile printing as part of an overall enterprise print strategy would mitigate security risks and to ensure that all printing is tracked, managed and controlled.

Angele Boyd, general manager of Imaging and document solution at IDC informed the Imaging Channel that the overall PC print volume will slump, but for mobile segment, there will be a sharp increase in these solutions. Mobile users at large and midsized enterprises are expected to print more than at smaller businesses, notes IDC and business smartphone and that tablet users will print several times more than personal users.

Printing vendors upbeat
The high demand of printing from mobile devices owing to a shift in enterprise preference has brought good news for printer solution providers like HP, Epson and Lexmark who were striving to bring mobile device printing and printing on the go solutions in the market.

IDC predicts that the rise in mobile printing will see printing providers coming up with laser multi-function printers (MFPs). Companies like HP is already supporting wireless printing technologies like AirPrint. Other printing vendors are also expected to follow suit in the coming months.