March 16, 2016

Print is Not Dead Yet

Print – “I’m not dead yet”

The digital transformation is upon us; or, if you’ve been around for some time like me, it’s been upon us for quite a long time. The ultimate goal is to meet customers’ communication preferences and transform their behavior by adding and leveraging digital communications. A key component of this evolution is that it will also transform your internal customer-facing business processes into digital processes.

With the growth of trends such as social media within the business world, and the increasingly important impact of big data, the digital transformation is getting some additional fuel and becoming a buzz word once again. In the print world, the digital transformation has always been associated with the "paperless office," with the underlying theory being that all communications will eventually be digital and there will no longer be a need to deliver paper. Yes – a good theory that has more meaning than just saving a few trees!

With digital correspondence there is the added benefit of being able to easily analyze the data to discover new trends and to instantly create a two-way communication channel with your customers. So where does this leave print? Well, it really doesn’t change. Going digital doesn’t change the workflow for generating print, it only changes or enhances the final print or output format.

An efficient print workflow remains extremely important for organizations that need to communicate with their customers. Think of it as the last step in a process with a final deliverable to your customer. It is the only point in time when data has been formatted and put into a presentable format for customer consumption. In some cases, such as your bank statement, it’s the only time when executed transactions are formally closed or accepted – for example, a month’s worth of officially accepted and closed transactions.

Print does not need to be limited to paper. In fact, when in a digital format, “print” is an extremely effective way to communicate with internal and external customers. So we can redefine print as output or digital customer communications, but we can still consider it print, and acknowledge that it’s still a requirement and is not dead. As referenced in the Monty Python skit - “I'm not dead yet. I'm gettin' bettah!” In other words, by incorporating digital communications, print is better.