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This IDC study provides our top 10 predictions for the 2014 production and large format printing markets. In late 2013, IDC's Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst Frank Gens presented the company's top 10 predictions for the global 2014 information and communication technology (ICT) industries. An overarching theme for this set of predictions highlighted that leadership of the IT industry is at stake and noted that battlegrounds are being pitched all across the 3rd Platform (mobile devices and platforms, cloud services, big data, and social technologies), which will drive growth and create new requirements around the Internet of Things. This evolving Internet of Things frontier is expected to stretch the reach and impact the 3rd Platform to new heights in 2014 and will drive market participants to escalate, consolidate, innovate, or migrate value within the platform. Of course, these global IT trends and predictions influence IDC's view of specific technology subsegments, including the production and large format opportunity.
In the production and large format printing markets, we observe a dramatic effect the 3rd Platform is having on how we communicate and what channels and tools are used. Innovation around the 3rd Platform will provide future disruptions and opportunities for print service providers and technology vendors alike. Connecting to the 3rd Platform is the first step, followed by integration into the innovation layers that are developing on top of the platform. Web-to-print, MIS, and workflow solutions are a key part of this connectivity, with customizations and integration into client and vertical solutions as the next wave. Technology vendors will have to decide how much of this capability they want to provide to their print service provider customers and how much they want to keep and leverage for BPO engagements directly with large enterprise accounts. To achieve success and stay ahead of the market's transformational wave, market participants need to be well informed about how these developments are radically changing the industry's future. This top 10 predictions document is designed to point out the most influential market trends and how market players can capitalize on them.
"Digital print has been successful in the safe waters of an incoming tide of short-run work. We are entering unchartered waters, where the next wave of technology is focused on mainstream volumes where there is uncertainty that the market will be receptive. The key for technology vendors is to understand that customers are undergoing transformations built around digital printing as a core enabler, and these transformations require far more than hardware on the shop floor. We look to the vendor community to provide solutions leadership to help their customers succeed," says Andrew Gordon, research director focused on IDC's Production Output Solutions.