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Will printers survive in the digital age?

When it comes to the workplace, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Particularly when it comes to office equipment.

Despite all of the advancements in the office technology arena, seemingly antiquated devices, such as the fax machine, remain a valuable asset even in the modern office. Similarly, the venerable printer has not only managed to survive as part of our everyday workflow—staving off the long-predicted paperless office—but it shows no signs of becoming obsolete any time soon.

Why has the printer survived in the digital age of doing business, and will it remain for decades to come?

Consider the following:

Digital has its drawbacks. The driving force behind the idea of the paperless office is that storing our data, files, and records digitally is more practical than maintaining and managing it in paper form. While this may be true, it’s not without risks. When your data is stored digitally, it is hardly invulnerable; there are a number of threats to electronic information that don’t apply to paper documents. Malware, ransomware, human error, and even natural disasters are all risks faced by digital data. In addition, gradual decay and the evolution of software applications and file formats also make going digital hardly a foolproof solution.

Paper has its advantages While it’s not as flashy and cutting edge as digital technology, paper remains a convenient and cost-effective medium. Not to mention, paper is easier to process mentally, leads to better retention of information, and people still love the tactile, physical experience it provides. When it comes to transferring information, paper has obvious advantages as a medium over digital.

Printers are survivors The printers found in offices today may bear a resemblance to their ancestors, but they have evolved a great deal over the past few decades. Modern devices are smaller, more efficient, more powerful, and much more versatile than their predecessors, offering functions and applications of which we never could have dreamed. Network and wireless connectivity? Cloud storage? Document management? Each of these enhancements has made the printer even more valuable to businesses and is an example of the continuous evolution of these devices.

The printer may seem like it’s soon to become just another device in a long line of technology that has gone by the wayside due to obsolescence. However, when you take into consideration the drawbacks of digital documents, the advantages of paper versions, and the printer’s unique ability to reinvent itself, it’s easy to see why we can expect them in our offices for years to come. If your office is in the market for a new multifunction printer, contact us: or 423-855-5222

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