63% of European Businesses Trapped in the ‘Digital Dark Ages’ According to New Research From Ricoh

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63% of European Businesses Trapped in the ‘Digital Dark Ages’ According to New Research From Ricoh

PR image Digital Dark Ages - Ricoh CIO image

Ricoh Europe, London, 15 July 2013 – European business leaders are not yet fully equipped for the digital age, with 63 per cent saying they are far from ready for digital transformation, according to a new poll commissioned by Ricoh*. The research also reveals that while an overwhelming majority of business leaders (83 per cent) believe the CIO is well-equipped to drive digital transformation, they are not yet fully empowered to change critical growth activities.  For example, the task of optimising business critical processes is ranked by business leaders as the number one activity that is having the biggest positive impact on business growth.  However, CIOs are currently least able to change it; just 9 per cent believe they are empowered in this area.  

The research revealsthat there is a clear opportunity for the CIO to step up to help shape the digital strategy and company growth, if further empowered by the business. The top three attributes of a successful CIO according to business leaders are 1) having a marketing background, 2) technology expertise and 3) business critical process optimisation expertise.  Yet few respondents said that the CIO was currently empowered to change corresponding elements of a successful digital strategy, such as customer engagement (just 13 per cent) and supply chain (just 14 per cent).

Currently digital transformation projects are predominantly led by either the CTO or CIO (43 per cent), followed by the CEO (30 per cent). However when considering the CIO specifically, they are leading in just 21 per cent of businesses.  In addition less than half of the business leaders polled, said they had a CIO on the board (46 per cent).

Ian Winham, CIO and CFO at Ricoh Europe PLC says, “The research insights show that the majority of businesses are still in the digital dark ages and are currently unprepared to drive digital transformation.  During a time, when much more technology-led change is anticipated, businesses will need to be able to adapt quickly to new client demands, economic conditions and to maintain a competitive advantage. To meet the challenges posed by this change, IT management should no longer be sidelined as a supporting role, instead CIOs must be further empowered to influence business models, client interaction and employee productivity.

By starting with business critical processes - the number one ranked activity to impact business growth - CIOs can combine technology expertise with commercial acumen to review, and change the organisations traditional ways of working. In turn they will gain much more than cost savings.  The business will benefit from being able to move forward with a more productive and agile working model where employee knowledge sharing is enhanced and they are more responsive to client needs.  In the longer term, with these strong foundations in place the CIO can focus on the core business areas and successfully lead the organisation into a brighter digital future.”

* Research conducted by Coleman Parkes Research, May-June 2013

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| About Ricoh | 

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 about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2013, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,924 billion yen (approx. 20 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.

For further information, please visit  www.ricoh-europe.com.      

For further information, please contact:
Ricoh Europe PLC
Janice O'Donnell / Jack Gibson 
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