71 per cent of businesses expect to reach digital maturity by 2019 – but are they as ready as they think?
Ricoh Europe, London, 15 September 2014 – The majority (71 per cent) of business leaders are confident they can transition from a state of digital transformation to digital maturity within just five years, according to the latest research from Coleman Parkes, commissioned by Ricoh Europe. The findings reveal that digital maturity – where an organisation uses sophisticated tools to drive performance and demonstrates an on-going commitment to technology, technology-led initiatives and digitally managed processes – is now a priority for 77 per cent of businesses represented in Europe and the Middle East.
The insights highlight widespread optimism which contrasts sharply with attitudes towards digital transformation from just one year ago, where research found that 63 per cent of business leaders felt their organisations were far from ready for digital transformation. This extensive shift in perception could stem from the rapid pace of technological change, together with increasing recognition of leveraging technology and technology-led processes for commercial benefit.
Although the main obstacle to achieving digital maturity is seen as cost (cited by 68 per cent of respondents), business leaders acknowledge the financial rewards. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) believe that achieving digital maturity will directly lead to an increase in profits and 62 per cent say that maturity increases a business’s appeal to potential investors and new owners.
Yet despite the agreement over the positive implications of digital maturity – with commonly cited responses including faster business processes (80 per cent), a stronger competitive advantage (70 per cent) and faster decision-making (69 per cent) – the research also offers a warning. There seems to be a degree of over-confidence among business leaders in their readiness and ability to become digitally mature. Half (50 per cent) of those surveyed identify the following obstacles to achieving maturity:
· Changing the way the organisation works to keep up with new technology already in place
· Aligning technology, processes and ways of working
· An inability to achieve the goal of digital maturity alone without the support of an external partner.
David Mills, Chief Executive Officer at Ricoh Europe, says, “Within a year, digital maturity has become a source of optimism for businesses. With the pace of technology-led change and associated expectations stronger than ever, digital maturity is set to become the ‘new normal’. However, business leaders must address the obstacles to ensure they have the infrastructure in place to support it and unlock the many benefits of becoming digitally mature.
Having a robust framework and partner support are essential. With technology constantly evolving businesses will need to remain committed in order to achieve and maintain their digitally mature status. Regularly reviewing processes, enhancing ways of working and integrating new technologies will be central to realising this goal. For many businesses digital maturity could soon become an essential strategic asset, as well as a key driver to boost organisational appeal, reputation and long term profits.”
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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 2014, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,236 billion yen (approx. 21.7 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