By Editor Morten B. Reitoft

Until now, most of us have seen companies like HP, Landa, Highcon, Scodix, Kornit, and more as the most interesting disruptors in our industry. I don’t need to tell you what they do and what they bring to market, but without jeopardizing what they do and how they all WILL influence the future, the new disruptors you have never heard of - or at least don’t know much about these.

We have for decades seen an enormous development in technology with faster machines, more automated machines, and technology that have all focused on increased productivity. But the new secret sauce is connectivity - and companies like Atomyx, Gelato, CoCoCo, CloudPrinter, and more are the companies that, in the future, will change our industry more than you can even imagine. They all are cloud-based and deliver software that connects - and that’s what they do. Maybe their business models aren’t smart, their marketing pitches are stupid, or the value they bring to you now isn’t really interesting, but they do something essential in the future.

The three letters behind the revolution are A P I or Application Programming Interface. APIs allow the software to connect and use services offered by other applications. APIs allow developers to integrate cloud-based solutions and eliminate the need for CPU-intensive processes at your business. You are most likely already using cloud-based solutions and APIs today - And maybe you don’t even know.

Let’s talk technology for a second.

Today, software is developed in the cloud, giving users many opportunities. The computers in the cloud have endless processing power, storage, and bandwidth. One thing is availability, but the fun starts with scalability. With cloud-based applications, the software itself can allocate the needed resources at any given time, freeing up your investments in hardware and software on-premises—and you will always have the latest, newest, and most efficient computers at your fingertips. Many of us already experience this with our cloud storage solutions, which keep getting bigger and bigger at almost the same price. Storage is today so cheap that Dropbox, for example, offers business solutions with endless storage for a fixed price.

Today, we see solutions that grow with your needs. Impostrip and Ultimate Bindery from Ultimate Tech in Canada are just two examples. So imagine you have endless computer power and cloud-based applications - the missing link is connectivity.

Connecting apps, whether on-premises or in the cloud, has always required tech people—and I am not saying that you won’t need tech heads in the future. Still, companies like CoCoCo and Atomyx are building standard interfacing to the most commonly used services that enable service exchange. The MIS system can communicate with your 365 solution, that talks to your CRM system, that talks to your HR system, that talks to… I think you get the idea!?

APIs enable this, and it will give you endless opportunities. If you think the above is tedious, then it’s only a matter of time before you can start distributing CPU load, memory, storage, etc., to your computers regardless of where they are located physically and offer services to your customers that enable true Omni-channel experiences, using AI, IoT, and all the buzzwords that we today don’t even know what they are!

When poorly written press releases discuss the power of the above software applications, the big question is and will remain for some time: who will be able to deliver a service that can truly integrate and be a player in the future?

When you see the names of the above companies, you may think - well - I don’t need this. Or you may think that some of the established companies will offer similar solutions - and well, a few of the ‘older’ companies have their eye set on an API-based future. Obviously, companies like Enfocus, ESKO, Ultimate Tech, etc. are looking into these technologies - and many are already using them. Still, I believe the true disruptors of the future MAY be one of the above-mentioned companies.

When they reach some industry milestone, companies like HP may acquire them, or you won’t believe it, even a company like Koenig & Bauer. At drupa 2024, Koenig & Bauer will show you incredible technology, and listening to Sandra Wagner from Koenig & Bauer, the 200+-year-old company is heading directly into becoming a software supplier that may or may not become one of the essential players of the future!

Interesting times - don’t wait for it.

To utilize and understand the implications of these companies, the business opportunities, and the potential, you must have people employed who understand this. They should reach out to these and many more companies so your company will be ready for when this happens. It MAY happen within the next ten minutes, ten days, ten months, or ten years—and closer to the minutes is not a bad guess.

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