Exploring Future Trends: Navigating Managed Print Services in the Digital Age

In an age where digital transformation is the buzzword, you’d think paper is passé. But here’s a surprise – managed print services (MPS) are not only alive but evolving, ready to conquer the future. I’m here to take you on a journey through the upcoming trends in this seemingly traditional sector.

Understanding Managed Print Services

Managed Print Services (MPS) is a topic with an intriguing history and an even more promising future. Providing insight into its evolution and where the industry stands currently helps in understanding the future trends that the sector might experience.

The Evolution of Print Management

In the days of yore, print management primarily revolved around deploying printers and ensuring they had enough ink. A real paradigm shift occurs when organizations started exploring the potential of printers beyond just printing. It involved integrating them with digital workflows, harnessing analytics for productivity, and even adopting methodologies like Just in Time (JIT) for resource optimization. The addition of these capabilities has seen print management evolve from mere printer maintenance to an all-encompassing solution known today as Managed Print Services.

Current State of Managed Print Services

With digitization at its peak, one might wonder about the relevance of print services today. Despite shrinking physical documentation, Managed Print Services has managed to carve its niche. Organizations found many benefits, from cost savings, improved workflows, tightened security to lower environmental impact, linked directly to effective implementation of MPS. Now, Managed Print Services is an indispensable part of any efficient enterprise, with its offerings including remote printing, user authentication, regular maintenance, and innovative solutions to streamline documenting processes. It’s proof that Managed Print Services has not only survived the digital age but has also adapted and thrived amidst it.

The Rise of Cloud Printing

As the realm of Managed Print Services continues its evolution, one promising trend arguably stands out: the rise of Cloud Printing. The integration of cloud-based technology in MPS opens up unprecedented flexibility and efficiency in printing solutions.

Benefits of Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based solutions carry numerous advantages that amplify the effectiveness of Managed Print Services. Firstly, there’s the notable efficiency increase. By implementing the cloud, businesses can print data from anywhere, at any given time. This allows for a seamless workflow uninterrupted by geolocations and time zones.

Secondly, it simplifies the infrastructure management. Given that maintenance and print driver updates take place on the cloud server, I can also say there’s little need for software support and on-site equipment. Thirdly, cloud-based solutions bolster security. Cloud printing services, for instance, use advanced encryption, minimizing the risk of data breaches. Lastly, it encourages environmental sustainability by reducing paper waste, since it endorses digital archiving instead of physical storage.

Implementing Cloud Printing in Businesses

Cloud printing isn’t just a future trend; numerous enterprises out there have already embraced it. Several methodologies exist for the system’s implementation, each varying depending on the needs of the business.

For instance, Google Cloud Print integrates with existing Google platforms, making it an ideal choice for businesses already invested in these resources. It supports printing from all connected devices, providing mobility and flexibility in print management.

Then there’s the ePrint solution from Hewlett Packard (HP). This platform allows businesses to print from HP printers using a unique, secure email address associated with the printer. Many companies consider this method for its ease of use and other beneficial features, such as its advanced encryption security.

Finally, the Mopria Print Service is a universal print driver that works with a wide range of printers from different manufacturers. This compatibility makes it a preferred choice among businesses that operate with a diverse hardware mix.

Implementing Cloud Printing in businesses involves a deliberate analysis of the organization’s specifics, followed by a strategic utilization of the available cloud printing platforms.

Sustainability in Print Services

As the sphere of Managed Print Services (MPS) evolves, so do its initiatives towards sustainability. A notable part of this evolution is seen in the advent of Green Printing.

Green Printing Initiatives

Green Printing denotes a commitment to eco-friendly practices in the printing world. Several companies are implementing Green Printing initiatives, taking various forms. Examples include:

  • Use of recycled paper: This practice involves the utilization of paper made from post-consumer waste, lessening the demand for fresh paper and thus lowering the amount of deforestation.
  • Energy-efficient equipment: Equipment manufacturers like HP, Canon, and Epson incorporate energy-saving technologies within their products.
  • Reduction of wastage: Advanced MPS solutions come with features that minimize waste. Duplex printing, print job authentication, and print quotas are steps in this direction.

Measuring Environmental Impact

Analyzing the environmental impact of print efforts is paramount to maintaining sustainability in print services. Various metrics such as paper consumption numbers, energy usage data, and ink and toner cartridge disposal rates are often considered.

Companies like Lexmark and Xerox offer tools to accurately track these metrics. They assist businesses in gauging their environmental footprint while providing valuable insights for improvement opportunities.

Remember, green printing isn’t just a fad. It’s a necessary evolution in the print industry. By embracing these sustainable practices, businesses aren’t only helping the environment, they’re also resonating with more environmentally conscious consumers.

Enhanced Security Measures

In response to growing concerns over data security, Managed Print Services (MPS) have heightened security measures to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with regulations.

Protecting Sensitive Data in Print Tasks

Given the nature of most print tasks, sensitive information often comes into play. MPS manufacturers incorporate robust security features into their services, guarding against unauthorized access to confidential documents. For instance, user authentication measures restrict printer and copier access to designated staff, effectively locking out potential intruders. Encryption protocols protect data from being intercepted during transmission, and document tracking mechanisms enable administrators to trace the origin of every printed document.

Lexmark, for example, provides real-time threat detection and automated responses. Xerox offers data loss prevention tools that can revoke print permissions based on the content of the document. These advanced features help organizations prevent data breaches and ensure the secure handling of sensitive documents.

Compliance and Regulations in Print Security

Compliance with data security regulations is an additional prerequisite in Managed Print Services. MPS providers adhere to standards like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States.

For instance, Brother’s SecurePro offers Compliance Support Service that assists in conforming to data protection standards. These features secure document creation, dissemination, storage, and destruction as per regulators’ guidelines, mitigating legal risks.

The future of MPS promises even more robust security measures, taking into consideration the paramount importance of data privacy and protection in the digital age.

Integration with AI and Machine Learning

With the evolution of technology, Managed Print Services (MPS) ventures towards the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Predictive Maintenance for Printers

Predictive maintenance employs intelligent algorithms in printers that foresee possible malfunctions. These systems learn from vast troves of real-time operating data. Over time, these algorithms extract patterns, granting them the ability to predict anomalies. For instance, AI-based predictive maintenance in Canon’s printer fleet allows operators to prevent sudden breakdowns. They’re notified of the potential issues allowing them to take necessary measures before the printers breakdown. This proactive approach improves the reliability of the print system, reduces downtime, and significantly trims maintenance expenses.

Customized User Experiences

AI and ML offer personalization in Managed Print Services industry. They tailor user experience based on individual preferences and historic usage data. Epson printers, for example, optimize printing tasks based on user behavior. They apply ML algorithms to analyze hundreds of printing patterns such as the time of day print jobs are usually performed or the type of files most commonly printed. Over time, these printers adapt to users’ unique needs, offering individualized solutions that further streamline workflows. With these evolutions, I can confidently assert that MPS underpinned by AI and ML boost efficiency, save time, and curate productive environments.

Mobile Printing Solutions

Exploring future trends tied to Managed Print Services (MPS), one notable development is the rise in Mobile Printing Solutions. This transition aligns with changing workplace norms and technological advancements. As we delve deeper, two significant aspects warrant discussion: The burgeoning of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture and the accompanying mobile security concerns.

The Growth of BYOD Culture

Businesses around the world have embraced the BYOD phenomenon, enabling employees to utilize their personal devices like smartphones and tablets at work. In 2020, researchers cited more than 80% of businesses adopted some form of BYOD policy, reflecting its immense positive impact on work flexibility, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Hand-in-hand with BYOD, Mobile Printing Solutions have seen significant demand. Imagine a scenario where a team member prepares a report on their tablet during a commute, arrives at the office, and immediately commands the office printer to print. Mobile Print Services enable exactly this kind of convenience and seamless workflow, with companies such as Canon, Ricoh, and Kyocera providing stellar MPS offerings tailored to integrate with BYOD environments.

Addressing Mobile Security Concerns

Yet, along with these increased freedoms come raised concerns. Crux to these qualms is the issue of mobile security. Identity theft, unauthorized access, and data leakage are prime threats in any mobile-centric work environment. In the realm of Mobile Printing Solutions, the risks increase as sensitive documents and data move between personal devices and shared printers. Several MPS providers have identified this vulnerability and provide robust security features to mitigate these risks. For instance, HP’s secure mobile print solution includes measures such as pull-printing, securing print jobs until the authorized user authenticates their identity on the print device. Similarly, Xerox’s mobile print solution ensures data encryption during transmission, reducing threats of data interception.

While the ride on the Mobile Printing Solutions’ wave promises increased convenience and productivity, it is paramount to remember that businesses need to maintain vigilance to ensure a secure, reliable, and, ultimately, effective implementation of these future-centric solutions.


As we’ve journeyed through the future of Managed Print Services, it’s clear that this field is evolving rapidly. The shift towards cloud printing and green initiatives show how MPS is becoming more sustainable and efficient. The integration of AI and ML is revolutionizing predictive maintenance and user experiences. With the rise of BYOD culture, mobile printing solutions are becoming a necessity, boosting work flexibility and productivity. However, this comes with its own set of security challenges. As solutions like those from HP and Xerox demonstrate, MPS providers are stepping up to ensure data protection and regulatory compliance. Despite these advancements, vigilance remains key in the secure and effective implementation of future-centric solutions. The future of MPS is indeed exciting, promising a blend of innovation, efficiency, and security. As we move forward, these trends will continue to shape and redefine the MPS landscape.