Interestingly there don't seem to be many pundits going out on a limb and making predictions for what will be the big issues in print in 2011. So I've gathered what little I could find (even if they're a bit weird), edited them for brevity, and added a few of my own.
Gartner: Predictions for 2011 an [sic] Beyond
Each year Gartner puts the focus on the decline in pages and stagnation of printer shipments, but yet they state “the value of print continues to increase. When done well, print is a key revenue-generating component of multimedia communications.”
• Cloud Printing Services (CPS) "anywhere, anytime access" will drive rapid acceptance by global 1,000 companies.
• More and more, the growth of electronic communications, especially voice and video, will also cut directly into the print market, reducing its revenue by 10% by the end of 2014. By 2014, 90% of global 1,000 companies will implement CPS for mobile personnel.
• In the office environment, managed print services (MPS), which reduce costs and improve workflows, is accelerating growth to the point that more than 50% of large organizations worldwide will employ MPS by 2015 to purchase and manage their print assets.
• Combined with other practices such as "pull printing," CPS can simplify IT support requirements and drive cost savings as well as user acceptance by effectively separating a computer's or mobile device's operating system from the print function. By 2015, 50% of office printing will entirely or partially circumvent the queuing and routing in Windows or another OS.
• By 2014, screen and application sharing and increased voice and video content will decrease printed page volumes by 10%.
2012 Doomsday Predictions: 2009-2012 Development Trend of Global Printing Industry
• By 2011, North America and Europe print market share will drop to 28% and 31%. Asia and other parts of the market share will increase to 30% and 11%, while the total value will exceed 720 billion U.S. dollars.
• In 2010, digital printing's share of the total increased to 14%. By 2020, about half of the world’s printed materials will go to digital presses for production. Variable data printing will be the main driving force for the industry.
Print Asia - Speculative predictions for the next decade
• The industry continues to be fragmented and without coherent leadership. By 2014 the industry will actually put forward a new generation of real print industry leaders that can think about the industry from beyond their own individualistic point of view.
Kendall Press Blog - 2011 Predictions for Marketing, Printing and Business Communications
1. People wanting to talk to people.
Out- impersonal phone trees and online form fill ins
In - tools - old and new that let individuals connect quickly and directly.
2. Customers Rule
Out - marketers pushing product, cookie cutter approaches, preaching
In - listening, helping, providing content of value to the consumer, preferably free but always fast ("in real time") and accurate
itdonutblog.co.uk/ - predictions for 2011 (desktop printers)
• The future is in the cloud. You won’t just be able to create and edit documents stored in the cloud, but you’ll also be able to send them to any printer you have permission to print on, from wherever you are located.
• There are additional features planned for printers such as newspaper feeds, where you can subscribe to your desired newspaper and have it printed at home ready for your morning cup of tea.
• Some new printers now have a high definition a digital camera built in. These can scan pages in less than a second, so look out for them in the next year.
• Expect the next year to be focused on smartphone and tablet connectivity.
My own predictions for 2011
I'm not sure if these are predictions or wishes for the new year or just rants.
• Desktop inkjet printer sales will go down as consumers do not replace the ones they have bought but don't use because of the ridiculous price of ink. I recycled my Epson printer in 2010 and do not intend to replace it since I can't afford the ink it takes to unclog the thing.
• Truth in advertising will continue to fail the consumer when it comes to marketing desktop printers.
• Government labeling regulations will continue to fail the consumer when it comes to desktop printer ink cartridge contents.
• Government anti-monopoly regulations will continue to fail the consumer when it comes to having a choice in ink suppliers.
• By 2012 the peak in large digital press sales will have occurred. Printers that were in the market to buy one have already done so. Vendors, banking on the sale of those large presses, will not be happy.
• The vendor and industry pundit mantra that the only future for print shops is in becoming a "full marketing services supplier" will be recognized to be the marketing hype that it is.
• Industry professional organizations will continue to fumble about and make member golf outings their priority.
• What few graphic arts schools will continue to graduate students prepared for jobs that vanished the day they first enrolled.
• By 2015 there will no longer be any print trade shows in North America.
• Graphic equipment vendors will hit the technical wall - it's not going to get any better because it's good enough as it is, and it's fast enough already, and even if it was cheaper no one can afford it anyway.
• QR codes will finally take root in North America (and won't need an explanation when they're printed).
• More people will quit Facebook than sign up.
• The "cloud" will arrive, settle, put everyone in a fog and when it dissipates it won't be mist.
• Most print shops will quietly go on with business as usual.