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European businesses could unlock €622 billion growth with digital transformation

  • Over three quarters of business leaders are reducing ‘tedious tasks’ as part of digital transformation strategies
  • Companies that implemented software for manual task automation boosted productivity by 14% last year

New research released today by Ricoh Europe reveals that digital transformation could increase EU and UK GDP by 3.4% over the next five years – equivalent to €622 billion of growth.

The research, conducted by Opinium and analysed by CEBR on behalf of Ricoh Europe, polled 1,000 workers and 250 decision makers across the UK and Ireland. It finds that business leaders recognise the drain of time-intensive processes on their workforce, with 80% making the automation of tedious tasks a core part of their digital transformation strategy.

But with the average British and Irish worker currently spending 28% of their day on administrative tasks, businesses must accelerate their plans if they are to facilitate these productivity gains and the employee engagement needed to trigger sustained growth.

Employees are clearly craving the right workplace technology to help them streamline activities and dedicate more time to fulfilling work. The majority (61%) think they would bring more value to their company if they had access to the right technology, with 72% of these welcoming automation tools as a means of reducing tedious tasks.

European businesses that implemented automation software in the last financial year experienced an average productivity increase of 14%. This marks a vital gain for businesses looking to remain competitive in markets that are subject to increasing turmoil.

The research also shows that a greater investment in the tools and systems employees are seeking can increase morale and reduce turnover. Workers at European businesses which implemented automation tools last year are reportedly more satisfied with their jobs and likely to stay with the company for longer. In fact, of all the technology investments businesses have made, the introduction of automation tools corresponded to the lowest employee turnover – 17%, compared to an average of 19% across other technology options.

Nicola Downing, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “Unlocking billions of euros worth of growth at a time when many businesses are facing the prospect of stagnating economies and productivity losses is an opportunity that cannot be missed. It’s encouraging to see business leaders acknowledge this and incorporate steps to streamline working, automate core processes and reduce tedious tasks into digital transformation strategies. However, they must move from intention to action much faster. Employees are ready to embrace all that automation can bring – in fact, they’re actively looking to employers to provide this. Accelerating digital transformation and delivering the tools that allow people to tackle more valuable work is essential if businesses are to remain competitive, retain key talent and trigger sustainable growth.”

For more information visit www.ricoh.co.uk/insights.

About Ricoh

Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services, thus enabling individuals to work smarter.

With cultivated knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over its 85-years history, Ricoh is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group has major operations throughout the world and its products and services now reach customers in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2021, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,682 billion yen (approx. 15.1 billion USD).

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

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