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Uncertain times driving demand for IT solutions

Ricoh has tested the temperature of European users and found that most are braced for turbulent times but expect to end the year in a stronger position

One of the silver linings of the dark cloud of political uncertianty caused by Brexit and Trump is the ongoing need for customers to protect their business by deepening the commitment to digital transformation.

Research from Ricoh Europe taking the temperature of European employees the findings not only revealed a sense of optimism about the rest of 2017 but intentions to lean more on technology to improve their fortunes.

The vendor found that nearly everyone expects the way they work will change in the near future as a result of digital disruption, economic uncertianty and political turbulence.

Despite those expectations 95% of people that were quizzed by the vendor were optimistic expecting their business to benefit from the changes.

Most people that were asked for their opinions by Ricoh saw technology as the best way of making sure they could improve the fortunes of their business. On the wish list were using IT to improve customer communications, increased productivity and simpler business processes.

The fly in the ointment was that with the pressure to increase the pace of digital transformation there will be even more of a scramble for skilled staff.

“How people relate to, engage and execute their work is fundamentally changing. In the years ahead we’ll see businesses fall into two distinct camps. Firstly, those with strong fundamental processes which empower employees by enabling them to do their best work, adapt and thrive. Secondly, those businesses which shy away from change and unfortunately set their employees up for failure," said David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe.

“As the world feels the impact of unprecedented change, business leaders must ask themselves where they see the most beneficial return on bringing more innovative technology into the company. To enable their business to stay focused on its long term goals, and remain competitive, often the best place to start is with their employees," he added.

Most resellers are only too aware of the digital transformation drive and are being bombarded with advice from vendors to get more involved in the trend.

A recent whitepaper from Sungard, shared with Cloud Industry Forum members, revealed that 81% of IT decision makers named digital transformation as a priority. Employees also shared the same level of enthusiasm with many expecting it to deliver more efficiency and give them an opportunity to develop new skills.

"The CIO and their team have a central role to play in the success of their business, now forming a vital part of all but the most outdated market strategies," said Keith Tilley, executive vice president, global sales and customer services management, Sungard Availability Services.

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