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Ricoh finds digital transformation a growing SME concern

Seeking out technology that can increase business agility is not an ambition that is confined just to the enterprise end of the market

Ricoh has found more evidence that SME customers are also being caught up in the digital transformation movement and recognise that unless they increase agility they face extinction.

Findings from Ricoh Europe indicated that for the majority of those SME leaders that it quizzed the focus for this year is to improve business agility.

There was a recognition from half that unless they took steps to introduce new technology and keep up with the updated workplace innovations then they would fail by 2023.

The idea that half of the SME community could have caused its own demise through a lack of investment is a powerful message for the channel and vendors to contemplate.

Ricoh also asked for a sense of priorities from SMEs and came up with a shopping list that could signal areas where the channel could put in some sales effort, including automation, data analytics, document management and video conferencing.

"As a result of challenging market conditions, business leaders are rightly eager to identify new opportunities early and reap the maximum reward. They know that remaining agile is crucial in order to capitalise on market changes and value the role technology plays in this. It’s clear that agility is high up on the SMB agenda and business leaders do not see the issue as being exclusive to larger competitors," said Javier Diez-Aguirre, vp corporate marketing, Ricoh Europe.

“SMB leaders aren’t fooled by the hype around technologies such as virtual reality and blockchain. Instead, they wisely choose to prioritise investment in the tools that will have a real, positive impact on the bottom-line. Those that haven’t already must carefully consider how technology can enable their employees to work faster and smarter, thus making their business more agile. If not, they could soon find that they’re the ones facing extinction as the market moves on without them," he added.

Areas of investment

Those SMEs looking to ensure they were able to gain more agility were keen to spend in the following areas:

Automation
Data analytics
Document management
Video conferencing

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