The Best Technologies to Think About in the Summer of 2022July 6, 2022
By Henning Volkmer, President and CEO of ThinPrint Inc
As we pass the midway point of 2022, we appear to be on the other side of the crisis that is the Coronavirus. Although Covid is still playing a role in our daily lives, in many cases it is much less intense and we are able to get back to life as we knew it – for the most part. Perhaps by 2023, we will be fully in the clear. The pandemic changed the way a lot of us operate in our daily lives and as we make our way through another year, technology is moving right along with us.
One aspect of daily life that remains consistent is being flexible and adaptable in both personal and business matters. To some, “flying by the seat of their pants” is fun and exciting. However, there are many people that find inconsistency and unknowns to be scary and tiring, especially after two years of being forced into that lifestyle.
As we head into a summer that promises to offer a lot more freedom and opportunity to spend time with family, we also continue to grapple with supply shortages and interruptions, inflation, a drastically changed labor market, and people’s desire to hold on to the flexibility many of us discovered as the pandemic forced rapid changes.
As we are not quite out of the pandemic and not quite into a “new-ish” normal I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few trends that have emerged throughout the pandemic that continue to be highly useful as we determine which of the adaptations we made to deal with Covid and the changes it brought and where we prefer to go back to the way things used to be. After all, not all new ideas turn out to be great and worth keeping.
Those of us who work in technology are lucky enough to have control over a great many things that influence where and how we work: let’s use that power and the resources at our disposal to make life a little easier for others.
The following technologies will play a key role in moving us forward as an evolving and equitable society.
Security, Security, Security:
Increased flexibility, unfortunately, and comes with increased risks and on top of that there’s a general surge in cyber-attacks driven in no small part by world events. We have always known that IT security is important but when even the president weighs in on the issue and issues an executive order it may be a good time to take an even closer look and consider different concepts and solutions to address these critical and difficult security challenges. Using easy-to-lockdown and manage Linux endpoints from our friends at IGEL, Microsoft’s AVD or Cloud PC keeps data away from local devices in the cloud. There is also ThinPrint and ezeep’s ability to put printers into a zero-trust setup on a network safely fire-walled from endpoint devices. No connection to the internet protects users from any spread of malware within the internal networks or malicious attacks from outside as well as inside the company.
Mobility, not just for Instagram:
Everyone has at least one smartphone, many of a tablet, too. As the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and tightened supplies of new devices the appeal to use smartphones and tablets for “productive” purposes has grown outside of a relatively small community of enthusiasts.
AVD and Cloud PC are killer applications on iPads that truly turn them into an all-day, every-day device even for those who have found their apps to be insufficient for their typical tasks or simply didn’t want to change their existing, Windows-based habits.
The idea of using mobile devices for everyday work is not all that innovative but “global events” have provided the not-so-gentle push needed to give this idea an honest try. Now that the secret is out, I expect to see much more of it. I can’t wait to witness which applications our customers come up with and how we can help them print when they need to connect physical and digital worlds.
Windows, steaming everywhere, on any device:
Azure Virtual Desktop has seen significant improvements over the past year that make it even easier to deploy and manage. The introduction of Windows 365 Cloud PC Business and Cloud PC Enterprise now bring modern, powerful, easy-to-use and personalized desktops to people wherever they are and whenever they are needed.
Our team has seen countless projects, both small and large, that lead me to believe our industry has gotten very good at leveraging Microsoft’s new offerings and we’ll see even more creative applications in the latter part of 2022.
While hybrid office work seems to be the most obvious use, the ability to run any application in the cloud should and can be used in a variety of other formats. The enabling of enhanced learning opportunities for children or helping small businesses better serve their communities by arming them with the same technology as their larger competitors are just a couple of examples.
Leveraging Cloud APIs and Automating the cloud
While it might be difficult to argue that the internet is truly living up to its promise of openness and accessibility, I have found a renewed appreciation for straightforward, easy-to-use and powerful APIs that allow proprietary or homegrown applications to run in the cloud. These APIs seamlessly connect to other services and add functionality that might otherwise be challenging to implement. Requiring access to vast amounts of data, ie: currency conversion or purchase histories at other merchants is challenging and might be highly complex to build, such as the case with printing, print management, or print connectivity.
While APIs are nothing new, I’ve been delighted by what some of our customers have created. Whether it’s integrations into space management solutions for the shared office industry or the chain of used car parts outlets that have connected their inventory management system in the cloud to label printers all over the continent, the progress is astonishing. While I can’t say I know all that much about used car parts, I was surprised by the level of innovation in an industry I have long associated with dust, crushed metal and discarded tires. I hope to see more of such riveting and novel (at least to me) applications. They are what makes this industry fun.
ThinPrint and ezeep are in the business of making apps print but that isn’t possible without a simple and flawless connection between the user’s app and ours. With this in mind, many of our customers over the last year discovered a large number of connections between physical and digital work that are simplified by automation. One example of this technology is cloud automation and connectivity between different applications. Companies like Zapier, Integromat and Workato are on the forefront of this delightful and valuable process. With just a few clicks, we’ve seen our customers print shipping labels and packing lists to a remote warehouse and deliver a QuickBooks invoice to the point of sales with the same speed and effectiveness.
Knowing my fellow technology enthusiasts, I assume you’ll be thinking about some of these things over the summer, maybe this is even your time to implement some of your plans as others focus on hamburgers, pools, and lawn chairs. I hope you will find some of these technologies useful to build solutions for everyone in your business, those who can comfortably work from home and those who open their front door every day to go to work; both are of equal importance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henning Volkmer drives the execution of ThinPrint Inc.’s strategy as an expert in print management. A cloud printing innovator and launch partner for Windows Virtual Desktop, ThinPrint is the technology leader for fully processing print jobs in its ezeep cloud without having to rely on on-premises printer drivers. He has established a broad technological background and has been at the forefront of technology trends for more than two decades. Originally from Berlin, Germany, Volkmer currently resides in Denver, Colo.