|By PR Newswire||
|October 16, 2012 04:06 AM EDT||
LONDON, October 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Ageing back office legacy systems are holding back 79 per cent of European businesses from fully streamlining their business critical document processes, new research published today by Ricoh Europe reveals. This is despite the majority of businesses recognising the transformational power of new technologies to help them be more agile in a fast-changing market, and highlights the disconnected approach to business technology and business-critical document processes across Europe today.
The research, part two of the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012, reveals that while European businesses say that new devices such as smartphones and tablets are helping them manage their business critical document processes, the majority are unable to maximise such technologies because their back-end systems can't fully support them. The study highlights how tempting new technologies can be, with 78 per cent of business leaders admitting they invest in new technology before fully realising the functionality of their existing systems. It also uncovered a clear divide between front and back office technology investments, with many focusing on new technology for the front office while failing to integrate it with the back office. This disjointed approach to process management could mean document processes are exposed to bottle necks, duplication of effort, and security risk.
"Whether businesses believe tablets and smartphones are the business tools of the future, or will be superseded by the next wave of innovation, it's clear is that technology driven change will continue and with it bring new ways of working and communicating. For business, the challenge is to plan for the long term and bring everyone in the organisation on the same journey at the same time. That means fully integrating the front and back office, connecting people with information, and enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing seamlessly throughout the organisation." said David Mills, COO, Ricoh Europe.
The research also indicated confusion about how to best use the cloud for business advantage. While 70 per cent of European businesses are using the cloud to enable mobile access to document processes, only 50 per cent believe that it is making their document process management easier. This highlights the lack of planning by business leaders who are investing in the cloud without having the structures in place to ensure it will deliver the desired improvements. It also means that many businesses will fail to benefit from their share of the predicted annual boost of €160 billion that the European Commission predicts cloud computing will add to the European Union's GDP by 2020.
Mills concluded: "European organisations must take action now to review their business critical process and technology in tandem to ensure their businesses are working to maximum
efficiency. A deep understanding of how document processes work - including how information flows through a company and how technology can help that information flow more smoothly - is crucial to truly understand the challenges and identify solutions. Technology innovation is set to continue at an unprecedented rate, so businesses need to act now if they are to keep ahead of the competition."
The report was conducted on behalf of Ricoh by Coleman Parkes Research and has been compiled using 1,075 interviews amongst C-level executives, directors and other employees in Europe. It is the second part of a series of reports into how businesses link their business-critical document processes with business technology and employees to achieve a connected business.
1. The European Commission's strategy for "Unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe", http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/1025&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
About the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012
A new perspective: Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 is an independent research study conducted by Coleman Parkes Research and commissioned by Ricoh Europe PLC. It provides a fresh perspective into how business-critical document processes are being managed across Europe, and builds upon Ricoh's previous Indexes - the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2009 and the Ricoh Process Efficiency Index 2011.
The research focuses upon business-critical document processes - the core interactions in an organisation that occur regularly and repeatedly. They may be document-heavy but more importantly they have a direct impact upon businesses interactions with clients and employees. They include document processes within HR, financial management and reporting, procurement, accounts payable and accounts receivable.
The research consisted of 1075 interviews amongst C-level executives, Directors and other employees within large (1000+ employees), medium (500-999 employees) and small (fewer than 500 employees) organisations, located in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The Nordics (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark), Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland.
The organisations are based within the education, legal, utilities/energy, healthcare, public sector, retail, manufacturing and financial services sectors. Qualitative interviews were also completed with European C-level executives to gain further insight into how they manage their business-critical document processes.
Ricoh is a global technology company specialising in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group, operates in more than 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2012, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,903 billion yen (approx. 23 billion USD).
The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialised industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.
Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.
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Janice Gibson / Louise Yarrall