This IDC Insight provides an overview of the hardcopy printing architecture today and evolution into the future. Vendors are fine-tuning their MFP architecture to enable new solution offerings and target new markets. Currently, forces like cloud, mobility, and MPS have caused adaptation or evolution of the MFP architecture. IDC's four pillars (social, cloud, mobility, and big data) are expected to affect how firms consume information and, consequently, how MFP architecture evolves to meet new business needs. This document provides guidance to print ecosystem providers (hardcopy manufacturers [original equipment manufacturers], independent software vendors [ISVs]) on general market trends. In this document, we focus on MFP devices predominantly since they permit value-added functionality, and sometimes the same core MFP architecture can also be leveraged in printer devices. While this is not 100% true all the time across MFPs and printers, it provides a simplified context for this document.
Finally, we provide some guidance based on IDC's assessment of the market, technology, and offerings.