IT Competence as a Necessity

By | November 11, 2008

At Graph Expo the Must See Um panel identified IT Competency as an area service providers must have to survive. Cary Sherburne sat down with Charlie Corr of Mimeo.com to talk about IT Competency with the printing industry.

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One thought on “IT Competence as a Necessity

  1. George Alexander

    Great interview!

    As Cary Sherburne mentioned, IT was one of the six “survival technologies” pinpointed by the “Must See ‘Em” panel at GraphExpo, and I think every printer, no matter how small, needs at least some IT know-how in house.

    Charlie Corr estimated that 10% of Mimeo.com staff is in IT. Interestingly, that’s the same percentage given by John Perez, CEO of RPI, in his PrintCEOblog interview with Gail Nickel-Kailing (http://printceoblog.com/2008/11/photo-book-producer-rpi-should-be-called-rainbow-printing-part-2). RPI is a highly-automated producer of photo books.

    However, I don’t think every printer can invest 10% of their staffing dollars in IT. And they shouldn’t have to. If the right standards and integration tools are available, the need is far less. One effort in this direction is JDF (see http://printceoblog.com/2008/10/is-jdf-dead for a good discussion on this option). Another approach is workflow/integration tools like Enfocus’ Switch (some thoughts on this are at http://www.beyond-print.de/site/content/en/channel_news/news_0597.html). These represent two different approaches to achieving a high level of automation with far less need for sophisticated IT skills.

    But however they get there, all printers are going to need to get good at automating their operations in order to survive. And some level of IT expertise will be required. Without it, as Charlie Corr put it, “your world will get increasingly small.”

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