Hardware trendsby Amy Weiss, The Imaging Channel

When it comes to the course of the office imaging market, there is a constant ebb and flow, with any number of trends to point to as the cause. Ancillary or adjacent markets such as production and label printing are taking hold with many dealers, digital convergence is affecting print volumes and creating shifts into the software and “everything-as-a-service” arena, and talk of the paperless office continues to inform almost every move. And yet, in the face of change and occasional decline, the hardware market itself continues to chug along. There are many factors affecting this; here we take a look at just three of the major trends affecting the hardware channel in 2017.

Kodak 150by Sid Bhattacharya, Kodak Alaris Information Management

Digital transformation, or DX, is set to continue dominating boardroom conversations. In fact, analyst group IDC forecasts that by the end of this year, two-thirds of the CEOs of global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy.

Jim DEmidioby Patricia Ames, The Imaging Channel

Early last year, Muratec America, a traditionally office-equipment-centric division of Japan’s Murata Machinery Ltd., announced its entry into the label printer market. We suspected then the firm may have found an interesting new market to explore, and have kept an eye on the venture. A little over a year after that initial launch, we caught up with Muratec America President Jim D’Emidio. 

Konica 150by Erik Holdo, Konica Minolta

Up until very recently, the opportunity for production printing devices has been relatively static.  The commercial print marketplace has consolidated, overall image quality has improved, turnaround times have lessened. At the same time, specialty substrates, spot colors (including metallics, white, etc.) and variable print have provided some market opportunity for those selling and using production devices. However, have we really added value to print? Or have we just been getting better and faster at producing the same old product?

Canon 150by Hiro Imamura, Canon U.S.A. Inc.

The enterprise continues to be transformed by the changing workforce, their expectation that the method of exchanging information in a business environment needs to be as convenient as it is on their personal devices, and the sheer pace of technological change. In particular, employees who have grown up with Web 2.0, the growth of cloud-based services, advances in smart devices and increased applications for artificial intelligence are laying the foundation for the next generation of enterprise IT. The foundational changes wrought by these movements demand that enterprises adapt and respond to avoid being left behind with an outdated, legacy-laden IT architecture.

Scannerby Patricia Ames, The Imaging Channel

As digital transformation continues to grab hold of more and more businesses, paper usage continues to decline. But don’t let this dip fool you — there is still paper at play. A lot of it. Just because you stopped using paper doesn’t mean the rest of the world did too. And then, even if we are truly going digital, all of that existing paper has to be digitized somehow.