Since 1999, when the term ‘Internet of Things’ was originally coined by MIT professor, Kevin Ashton, it’s gradually made inroads into the day-to-day business operations of managed print services.

RFID had already been in use for a while in a supply chain capacity to improve operational efficiency, however, it was only when Kevin Ashton came up with the idea of reinventing RFID into a networking technology, that real progress could be made.

Over time, the limited connectivity and high cost of infrastructure and devices meant that RFID began to hold back the connected infrastructure. Its challenges meant that the IoT, as it stood, wasn’t fit for large-scale production such as industrial automation. However, the growth of a wide range of wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave and DECT, and the advancement in connectivity and network capabilities, cloud computing, data analytical tools coupled with the rapid improvement in data handling capabilities have, alongside access to low-cost devices, all had their part to play in the spread of the Internet of Things and its responsibility for increasing a business’ ability to be competitive.

We’ve been seeing IoT devices in our daily lives since 2016 and, by 2020, the Enterprise IoT (the network of connected goods that operate within commerce) is expected to comprise of over 50 billion connected devices.

By integrating IoT-accessible sensors and networking technologies into printing devices, these devices can shape managed printing services by giving users and managers valuable real-time insight into print usage. They can unlock insights into how to make commercial printing operations more efficient, more streamlined, and more cost-efficient.

By monitoring devices, routine maintenance can be carried out, allowing managed printing services providers to identify issues and resolve them before they can impact the business.

Data can be collected using the IoT to enable printing services providers to better understand printing behaviours, identify new products or services that a user could find helpful, or to enhance billing accuracy.

Data collected through the IoT can also help drive down the environmental impact that an organisation has. Features such as remotely activated or usage-pattern-informed sleep functions can reduce energy usage on a wide scale across the business.

To understand more about how ASL’s managed print services can use the IoT to streamline your printing and reduce your carbon emissions, contact us on 0345 305 2618.

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