LONDON, 08-Mar-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Blockchain technology is revolutionising the financial services industry, additive manufacturing is reengineering product development and the first autonomous cars are due on the road by 20201. Technology is driving disruption at great pace – and it is also changing the way we work.
Working in a world of change
New Ricoh commissioned research reveals that European employees predict digital disruption and automation to be the biggest game-changers this year. Advancements in technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, are spawning new business models and roles. In marketing and finance, rapid data analysis can help find insights which were previously unattainable. In logistics, autonomous supply chains and intelligent warehouses can allocate stock to markets with most demand. At the same time, leading retailers are replacing delivery vans with unmanned drones. There’s no denying that we’re in a world of change.
With employees believing digital disruption to be even more impactful on the way we work than political or economic uncertainty, the concerns for many people are whether their skills will still be relevant in five years’ time. However, rather than feel threatened, 95% of European employees view change as positive. In fact, 61% want technology at work to help improve productivity, simplify processes and help them make more informed decisions.
Technology takes centre-stage in the workplace
Business growth is characterised by innovation. With digitisation taking a central role in our working lives, it is critical new technology focuses on enabling employees to do their best work. We can expect digital disruption to fundamentally impact the way we work in three distinct ways:
- How we collaborate. Connectivity is vital for innovation, especially as teams become increasingly global. Cognitive whiteboards enable teams across the world to build ideas together in the same virtual meeting. Bringing artificial intelligence and voice recognition into the boardroom will improve our abilities to make better, informed, decisions with greater speed. Similarly, video conferencing systems will be common-place within the next few years. Speaking with a co-worker on the other side of the world will be as easy as leaning over your desk to speak with someone in the office.
- Making the mundane automatic. Already used by forward-thinking organisations, we can expect the automation of back-office processes to be standard in five years. Document-heavy workloads will move from being paper-based to more efficient and cost-effective electronic processing. This provides a clear overview of incoming and out-going funds. Users also have more time to focus on the core goals of the business.
- The use of mobile and on-demand services as second-nature. Improving services for digitally-savvy employees and customers by blending ease-of-use with powerful technology is a top priority for many businesses in the coming year. With mobile devices becoming ever more ubiquitous, we’re seeing huge growth in applications which aim to simplify the user experience. Mobile printing, for example, enables staff to print from anywhere and any device to any printer. All this without the need to find a desktop or USB.
For business leaders, success in five years’ time will require clear strategic thought to make the most of innovative new technology. Most importantly, they must push to give their employees the tools needed to be more flexible, efficient and creative with their time. Putting people at the centre of change will allow them to make the most of the opportunities digitisation creates.
For more information visit www.ricoh-europe.com/thoughtleadership.
1IHS Markit, IHS Automotive’s autonomous vehicle sales forecast, 2016
Ricoh is a global technology company that has been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years. Under its corporate tagline – imagine. change. – Ricoh continues to empower companies and individuals with services and technologies that inspire innovation, enhance sustainability and boost business growth. These include document management systems, IT services, production print solutions, visual communications systems, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2016, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,209 billion yen (approx. 19.6 billion USD)
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