Announcing the top 10 technology trends in 2015, Gartner predicted that mobility will continue to play strategically critical role for most organizations. As mobile devices are continued to proliferate, Gartner stressed that “an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse contexts and environments, as opposed to focusing on devices alone.”
This is something that Samsung Printing Solutions had in mind early on. The use of mobile devices has changed the way we communicate, interact and work. The ability to interface and to work compatible with mobile devices is essential, as mobile users desire supports and integration for the technology on which they rely on. Whether at the office, on the road, or even in line for your morning coffee, mobile connectivity is expected wherever there are mobile users.
Defining Mobile Printing
The world of printing and workflow management is no different. Demand for mobile printing has risen in step with other mobile technologies, and businesses are under pressure to integrate to maintain seamless and agile working environments. This has presented a challenge, because although expectations for mobile printing have increased, existing printing solutions have so far failed to deliver.
Mobile printing is a term for a broad trend that encompasses a variety of capabilities—including but not limited to universal device connectivity, cloud access and remote printing. At its core, however, it describes the ability for a printing and workflow management process to incorporate, support and interface with the mobile devices of its users. How effectively this is achieved is solution-dependent, but ideally successful mobile integration will be intuitive, efficient and flexible for IT and end users alike.
Movement Driven by Demand
Studies show 78% of workers under the age of 33 want more mobile technology capabilities at work, such as the ability to print from their smartphones and tablets. Likewise, 60% of all office workers indicated their organizations would like to print from their mobile devices. The numbers are significant but shouldn’t be surprised. Staff expects the same integrated, connected and barrier free environment for their mobile devices at work as they do everywhere else. Offices that allow them to utilize their devices fluidly also allow them to be flexible, independent and agile in the way they work. This leads to a more attractive work environment, and a more productive workforce.
What does the future of mobile printing hold?
1. PC-less printing environments
The advent of mobile printing is the desire for a working environment less dependent on PC access. When a PC connection is required, it limits the flexibility and productivity of the user. Staffs that must be tethered to their desks in order to share, edit and print documents will be neither as effective nor as efficient as their mobile-equipped counterparts. Serverless, driverless, PC-free printing is becoming possible through the use of cloud-based print tools like Samsung Cloud Print or Google Cloud Print. This has allowed forward-thinking businesses toeliminate often complex driver-based, server-driven printing architectures. In a straightforward restructuring of their print ecosystem, they are simplifying their print workflow, reducing IT support demands, leveraging the ever-expanding base of cloud applications and gaining efficiency and productivity from their mobile workforce.
2. Ensuring Mobile Security
84% of IT executives identified the issue of device security as the most important factor influencing mobile integration policies. As such, businesses have placed an increased value on solutions with increased security measures, such as user authentication and secure pull printing. This is all done with the goal of enabling mobile workforces to print what they need, where they need it, all the while guaranteeing that only authorized workers have access to sensitive printed documents.
3. Diverse Applications for Devices
As use of mobile devices has become second nature in most offices, one trend we can see is the emergence of more diverse applications for devices. Workers are quickly expanding utilization beyond e-mail, calendaring and contact applications. 45% now routinely use their devices for document access and editing apps, and this number is only projected to grow in the future. The research also shows the demand for widespread mobile integration is only increasing. The percentage of smartphone users who print from their phone is projected to reach 55% by 2015, from just 15% in 2011; likewise, tablet users who print from their tablet is projected to reach 75% by 2015, from only 30% in 2011. 
Mobile document management is more than a trend. It’s a paradigm shift in the way we communicate and do business that has long-reaching implications for a variety of technologies and industries. Forward-thinking businesses need to adapt and embrace the mobile movement in order to stay relevant. Doing so requires adoption of mobile integration holistically, with printing and workflow management solutions included. No matter how the future of mobile printing evolves, one thing is clear—successful businesses will be those that evolve as well. Doing so will require smarter technology, smarter implementation, and most importantly, a smarter way of working.