The future of photocopiers is currently met with conflicting views. Some say that photocopiers are on the path of becoming obsolete. This is due to reports that say workers are now relying less and less on actual pieces of paper and have been increasing the creation and distribution of digital documents. On the other hand, some experts believe that photocopiers are still relevant. Especially so in the areas of education, business, and government sectors where photocopiers are known to play an indispensable role.
The market for copiers and multifunction products continues to show a decline in unit shipments over the years. This is one of the many observations of analysts that made them say the copier market is already shrinking.
Here are the other reasons why experts think that the copier businesses are already nearing its death:
- There is an availability of smaller less expensive equipment, which are almost as capable in meeting business needs for copying and printing, as huge copier machines can. Since they are cheaper, small businesses are starting to see them as a more affordable and viable alternative.
- There is now less need to print documents due to the growth of digital document acceptance in office’ documentation process.
When submitting requirements, for example, most businesses and offices now allow scanned, photocopied or soft copy versions and no longer require hard copies.
- The process of copying has now become a minor feature of today’s copiers – also known as multi function printers. Printing and scanning have already overtaken it in terms of functionality. The copy need has already been widely replaced by scanning to a PDF file and then printing it, and as such, a copier’s photocopying functions are now almost always neglected.
- There is no need to photocopy papers for recording because documents can now be scanned or converted into soft copies and stored in mobile devices and cloud storage.
On the other hand, here are the top reasons why analysts believe that there is still huge hope for the future of copier businesses:
- Despite advances in document creation and storage technologies, no business and field have been able to fully convert to a completely “paperless” office. Nitro even conducted a study, which found that about 99 percent of employees still review paper documents.
- Paper copies are still easier to read and mark up. No matter how convenient it is to have a tablet that contains thousands of PDF files, most will still find it difficult to review papers on a screen. Writing markings and making notes with a pen just feels so much better for some reason. Also, reading a 100-page report on a screen can get tiring on the eyes and can cause eye strain.
- Paper is still cheaper. Buying gadgets, digital tools, and storage solutions can be very costly. There is also a huge question for investors and business owners as to the possible yield of ROI when said expensive technology is adapted.
- Paper copies are much safer than cloud and digital storage. They avoid the huge possibility of breach and security risks.
- The paper system has long been tested over thousands of years. It can work on its own or hand in hand with a digital system. On the contrary, a digital system without paper will not survive.
In the end, the presence of electronic document and digital system need not cause businesses and offices to give up on the copier business completely. They can be used side by side to attain a much efficient process of handling paperwork and documents in the workplace.