Print’s Ultimate Advantage Revealed?

PRIMIR has published its newest study “Impact of Electronic Technologies on Print.”

According to Marco Boer, vice president, I.T. Strategies, and principal researcher on the study, “Contrary to popular belief, mostly fueled by media saturation, e-books, iPads and other similar devices aren’t the root cause for the decline in page volume within the various print applications. Instead, the true major change-agent is a shift in business models.”

These transforming business models emerge from a business’ desire to be more efficient, timely, and thrifty, yet at the same time addressing the communication needs and desires of customers. The study delves further into these evolving business models in the various print applications.

The Cloud was identified as the single-most important enabler of continuing growth of electronic communication technologies. I.T. Strategies conservatively estimated investment in Cloud computing at $20 billion in 2011 alone. This investment exceeded the entire R&D investment of the worldwide printing equipment and supplies manufacturing industry.

There has been tremendous press coverage about electronic technologies and books; however, for the next three years the actual impact on page volumes will be smaller than one might expect—in part because there are many segments in book printing that will not be impacted for at least another five years.

According to the study, now and in the future, the benefits of electronic communication technologies outweigh and will continue to outweigh the disadvantages.

Nonetheless, print will co-exist where instant availability is not the most important factor. One inherent advantage of print is that it is fixed and cannot be changed. This enables control over who has access to the content, and this may ultimately be its major advantage.

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