Emerging Trends in Print Technology: Innovations and Adaptations for 2024

26th June 2024 | Blogs

As we step into 2024, the print industry is set to confront a mix of enduring challenges and new opportunities, much like the past year. While print technology itself has reached a mature stage, the supporting infrastructure is continuously evolving, driving new trends that will shape the future of printing. Amidst the numerous upheavals in the modern workplace, driven by technological advancements, economic pressures, and global events, print technology continues to adapt and thrive. This article delves into the key trends poised to drive print innovation in 2024, focusing on AI, security, cloud data, automation, sustainability, and incremental innovation.

The Influence of AI on Print Processes

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force within a remarkably short period. Unlike cloud technology, which took a decade to gain widespread adoption, AI has achieved similar levels of acceptance and impact within just a year. As we progress, AI's integration into business processes will only become more pronounced.

In the realm of print technology, AI is set to simplify and personalise user experiences. It will streamline print tasks, reducing the steps needed to complete them, and customise device interactions based on individual preferences. For example, AI can help tailor how employees use print devices, making their workflows more intuitive and efficient. AI's role in document capture and workflow automation is already evident, transforming manual tasks such as document classification and information extraction into automated processes.

AI also enhances customer support by providing quicker access to relevant information, improving experiences for customers, dealers, and service engineers. However, as beneficial as AI is, it also raises significant security concerns. Hackers and cybercriminals are exploiting AI to identify vulnerabilities, making it crucial for businesses to stay vigilant. 

As AI continues to evolve, its role in enhancing print security will also become more significant. AI can help identify and mitigate security threats in real-time, providing businesses with proactive protection against cyberattacks. For example, AI-powered security solutions can detect unusual patterns of behavior, such as unauthorised access attempts or data exfiltration, and respond immediately to prevent breaches.

Businesses should invest in AI-driven security solutions that offer continuous monitoring and threat detection. These solutions can help identify vulnerabilities and provide actionable insights to strengthen security measures. Regular updates and training are essential to ensure that security protocols remain effective in the face of evolving threats.

Print Security

The security of business information, both physical and digital, is not just a trend but a necessity. However, print security often gets overlooked, particularly in smaller businesses with limited IT resources. In 2023, research highlighted significant gaps in print security among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 32% of respondents admitting they had no security measures for office printers. Additionally, 61% of businesses reported at least one print-related data breach in the past year. Regardless of size, businesses must prioritise print security to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information, which could lead to severe legal, financial, or reputational consequences.

To address these security challenges, modern print devices come equipped with robust security features. Businesses need to be informed about these features and utilise them effectively. 

Cloud Data Utilisation

Cloud technology has become a cornerstone of business operations, with the focus now shifting to optimising the use of cloud services. The success of these services hinges on how effectively organisations deploy, secure, and manage their data. In 2024, the emphasis will be on data sharing and usage. Proper data access workflows are vital, especially as AI enables faster information processing. Without the right data structures and authorisation levels, businesses risk data breaches. Continuous monitoring and regular audits of cloud infrastructure are essential to identify and address security vulnerabilities.

Cloud-based print management solutions offer numerous benefits, including centralised control, scalability, and cost-efficiency. In 2024, businesses will increasingly adopt these solutions to streamline their print operations and improve efficiency. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to monitor and manage print devices remotely, ensuring that they remain operational and secure.

Additionally, cloud-based print management solutions offer advanced analytics and reporting capabilities. Businesses can gain insights into print usage, identify cost-saving opportunities, and optimise their print infrastructure. By leveraging cloud-based solutions, businesses can enhance their print operations and achieve greater flexibility and control.

Organisations must prioritise the creation of effective workflows for data access to maximise the benefits of cloud services. This involves ensuring that the right data is available to the right people at the right time, enhancing productivity and decision-making processes.

Streamlining Processes Through Automation

Automation has long been a tool for enhancing business efficiency. By eliminating manual steps from routine operations, businesses can boost productivity, reduce costs, and allow employees to focus on more fulfilling tasks. Multi-Function Printers (MFPs) still play a crucial role in automating business processes, especially when converting analog content into digital workflows. The trend is shifting towards custom workflows rather than centralised processes. Even small businesses can now automate laborious tasks without needing advanced coding skills, thanks to user-friendly tools.

AI further simplifies automation, making it accessible and cost-effective for businesses of all sizes. What once required expensive consultations and bespoke systems can now be achieved with standard platforms customised through AI. This democratisation of automation tools allows even the smallest businesses to benefit from enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Sustainable Printing Practices

Sustainability has become a top priority for businesses, despite economic challenges. The print industry, particularly in Europe, is seeing new regulations aimed at enhancing sustainability, including the use of remanufactured or refurbished devices. IDC research predicts that by 2027, 10% of global enterprise fleet acquisitions will be remanufactured or refurbished devices, a trend likely to extend to small and medium-sized businesses as well. This shift not only helps in reducing costs but also supports environmental sustainability by promoting the reuse and recycling of print devices.

Ongoing initiatives and regulations, such as the Eco-design for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), aim to improve product sustainability, including extending the lifespan of print components. As print volumes decrease, devices can be used longer without compromising service quality, reducing waste and costs.

Incremental Innovation in Print Technology

Print technology is mature, with significant advancements now being incremental rather than revolutionary. Innovations focus on cost-efficiency in both acquisition and maintenance. The trend towards hybrid working has led to a shift from A3 to A4 print devices, which are more cost-effective and suitable for smaller teams. A4 devices are not only cheaper to acquire but also more economical to run and support, making them an attractive option for businesses looking to optimise their print infrastructure.

While A3 devices will still have a place in many organisations, the demand for centralised, large workgroup devices will decrease. Instead, A4 devices with similar features will become more prevalent, reflecting the changing nature of the modern workplace. This shift allows businesses to adapt to new working environments while maintaining the necessary print capabilities.

Hybrid and Remote Work Environments

The shift to hybrid and remote work environments has transformed how businesses operate, including their print needs. In 2024, we can expect further adaptations in print technology to support these new working models. Print devices will become more integrated with digital workflows, allowing employees to print and manage documents seamlessly from any location. Cloud-based print management solutions will enable remote monitoring and maintenance, ensuring that print devices remain operational and secure, regardless of where employees are working.

Additionally, print solutions will need to support collaboration among distributed teams. Features like secure document sharing, digital signatures, and remote access to print resources will become increasingly important. Businesses must ensure that their print infrastructure is flexible and capable of supporting the diverse needs of a hybrid workforce.

The Importance of Data Privacy and Compliance

Data privacy and compliance are critical considerations for businesses, particularly as regulations become more stringent. In 2024, businesses must ensure that their print infrastructure complies with data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. This involves implementing robust data privacy measures, including encryption, access controls, and secure data storage.

Businesses should also conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with data protection regulations. This includes reviewing data handling practices, assessing the security of print devices, and ensuring that employees are trained in data privacy protocols. By prioritising data privacy and compliance, businesses can protect sensitive information and avoid costly penalties.


The print industry in 2024 is poised for significant advancements driven by AI, enhanced security measures, optimised cloud data usage, increased automation, a stronger focus on sustainability, and incremental innovations. These trends will shape the way businesses operate, ensuring that print technology remains relevant and continues to evolve in the modern workplace. By staying ahead of these trends, businesses can leverage the full potential of their print infrastructure, driving efficiency, security, and sustainability in their operations.

As we move forward, it is essential for businesses to remain informed about the latest developments in print technology and to adopt strategies that align with their goals and needs. By doing so, they can navigate the challenges and opportunities of 2024 and beyond, ensuring that their print infrastructure supports their overall business objectives. The print industry will continue to play a vital role in the modern workplace, providing innovative solutions that enhance productivity, security, and sustainability.