Decades ago experts were predicting the end of print, a time when businesses and homes would be all digital all the time and paper would be used less in daily life than a quill pen and ink well. That time is not now. In fact, there are very good reasons why printers are still important in your work and personal life.
Some people are not ready for all digital information, and if those people are you customers, it makes good business sense to provide as many options for accessing information as possible. Make printed materials available in addition to interactive websites to maximize the number of people you reach each day.
Paper is harder to ignore. Marketers know the power of touch, so having something tangible for people to see, feel and interact with takes people away from the online world and redirects them to focus on what you want them to know. The same information presented digitally can easily be lost by closing a tab or clicking on a hyperlink.
You can touch paper and mark on it. You can cross out, rework, and fill margins with notes on paper much easier than electronically. Editing and reviewing on paper allows you to focus without electronic distractions that are often part of working in a digital environment. Utilizing vision, touch, even smell as you work with printed documents activates different parts of the human brain, increasing creativity and acuity.
Print and digital complement each other. Some types of data are best created, maintained, and accessed on paper, while digital is better for other types. Having print and digital minimizes recovery issues after a natural disaster or a cyber event while working in tandem to provide efficient work flow and the best service to customers.
Printers continue to be a cost effective option. Having a multi-function printer such as one of the Konica Minolta A3 laser printers and paper is less expensive to purchase and maintain than hardware, software, servers, and online security for digital data. And a printer is a must if your business involves shipping labels.
For individuals, there are instances when something printed on paper is better than digital. Not everyone wants to display digital pictures. Often a single standout photo has more impact and sentimental value than dozens of constantly changing images in a digital frame. Certificates of achievement and awards are tangible reminders of accomplishments, meant to be created and displayed in a fixed medium. If your phone or other digital device is broken or stolen, a printed boarding pass, insurance card or tax form can be invaluable.
A paperless society may happen at some point in the future but until then it is a good idea to keep your work or home printer handy and in good working order.