The world is growing increasingly mobile-centric, and the print market is being affected by this transition in a variety of ways. An example of evolution within the industry can be seen in the recent importance being placed on mobile printing solutions. 

People are very agile these days, and their mobile devices give them access to important documents in remote locations. However, until recently it was not possible to print a physical copy of a file from a smartphone, thus rendering these devices limited for business functions. Now manufacturers are starting to buy into the value of mobile printing and introducing more elaborate platforms to the market. 

Mobile document solutions are being revolutionized by the added ability to scan and print
Networks Asia reported on research from the International Data Corporation, which found that organizations are adopting mobile strategies to help increase flexibility among their employees. The report revealed that there are six specific sectors that are investing most heavily in smart device usage among employees – IT, Wholesale Trade, Banking, Life Sciences, Resource Industries and Securities. Large and medium enterprises account for 54 percent of all smartphone and tablet use, indicating the extent to which such devices are valued in the business world. 

With specific regard to printing, Networks Asia referenced figures from the IDC study that reflect the desire that users have for mobile printing – 75 percent of respondents said that the function is just as important to business as printing from a PC. A further 15 percent actually believe mobile printing to be more valuable. The most frequently cited advantages were streamlining document processing, increasing customer satisfaction, the growth in volume of transactions and the sheer number of new customers.

However, the source lamented that while adoption and user rates for smart devices are extraordinarily high worldwide, the ability to print from such a machine is not yet widely available – even though there is desire for such a service. The IDC study found over a third of smartphone and tablet users would like to print from their devices, but cannot do so. 

Mobile decide manufacturers are taking notice and evolving alongside the workforce
WhowiredKorea reported that, according to research conducted by Samsung, corporate IT decision-makers find usability to be the biggest issue with mobile printing. The source noted that Samsung has introduced new multifunction printers, apps and cloud printing services to better reflect the constantly changing needs of its clients. 

The survey unearthed a wide disparity in interest levels around and actual abilities for mobile printing among IT executives. While 40 percent said they recognize the opportunities provided by mobile and cloud printing solutions, a mere 8 percent indicated that they currently use such services. The most common reason cited was difficulty of implementation. 

The source asserted that Samsung plans to simplify this process through its new solutions, but in reality, the system has not been widely accepted as of yet. This marks a massive opportunity for printing companies to take advantage of an untapped market – one based on solutions that will likely become mainstays in most businesses for years to come. Printers have had to adapt continuously over the course of the past decade, and mobile printing is an area in which collaboration with the digital industry can be mutually beneficial. 

As mobile devices continue to grow in prominence, consumers have demonstrated increasingly complex desires for the services that smartphones and tablets can provide. One area that has yet to be addressed on a large-scale level is printing, and this should serve as a means through which print companies can reinvent themselves and their offerings yet again.