Despite the decades-old mantra that print is dead, we’re still seeing plenty of hard copy in our lives. And it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. At last week’s Technicity GTA, ITWC chief executive officer Fawn Annan sat down with Dennis Fan, business inkjet  enterprise product manager at Epson Canada, to learn about how the printing industry feeds the public service modernization agenda.

Fan began by saying inkjet technology has now taken the lion’s share of the printing market, thanks to the comparative simplicity of the technology, its usability, the security features being built in, and its energy saving and reduction in waste compared to laser printers.

“Inkjet technology has to be reliable and efficient, and it is,” he said. “It also needs to be sustainable when compared against laser devices. It is. And on the security aspect of it, the technology also needs to be safe.… The data has to be confidential whether it is in transmission, on storage, or even after it’s deleted. You have to make sure that it is safely deleted and will not be able to be hacked and recovered.

“From a usability standpoint, it needs to be easy to use. It has to be intuitive. It has to be simple, to help people to get more done with fewer steps.” And, he added, it also needs to be able to be integrated with other systems, to allow for automation to eliminate or minimize human intervention.

How, Annan wondered, noting that Epson has made investments of 100 billion yen (about C$1 billion) into sustainable innovation, does the technology feed into the sustainability agenda.

“Sustainability is part of Epson’s DNA,” Fan said. “It really goes beyond product innovation.” He pointed out that in 1988, Epson announced that it would eliminate ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from its processes, and achieved that goal in Japan in 1992.

Annan then switched focus to ask how Epson is addressing the need for cloud connectivity as part of digitization.

“We also have work ongoing to develop solutions that work very well with our devices, along with other industry partners, and to be able to help simplify [our users’] workflows,” Fan said. For example, he said, a workflow could scan an invoice, push it to an approver and notify them via email.

He is also optimistic about the future of printing technology in a digital world, noting that, just as digital photography has not eliminated photo printing, the need for business printing will continue.

“As a professional who prints, I think the future of printing for me is that I can print anytime I want, use whatever device I have, from any system I am on, and print to any devices I have access to, easily cost-effectively, and securely,” he said. “And I think that’s the future that printing is going to evolve around.”

View the entire discussion here.

The post Technicity GTA 2023: Fireside chat – The role of print in digital transformation first appeared on IT World Canada.

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