New research locally and in Europe suggests that businesses are set to unlock billions of rand in growth potential through digital transformation and automation initiatives over the next few years.
IDC predicts that, following the pandemic, South African businesses will increase their digital transformation spend as a percentage of total ICT spend to 38% by 2024. Meanwhile, research conducted by Opinium on behalf of 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 European research, which polled 6 000 workers and 1 500 decision makers across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, also found that business leaders recognise the drain of time-intensive processes on their workforce, with 76% making automation a core part of their digital transformation strategy.
“The average worker currently spends almost a third of their day on administrative tasks,” says Jolene Castelyn, marketing executive, Ricoh South Africa. “We believe that businesses must accelerate their automation plans if they are to realise these potential productivity gains and improve the employee engagement needed to trigger that growth.”
According to the survey, employees want the right workplace technology to help them streamline activities and dedicate more time to fulfilling work. The majority (64%) think they would bring more value to their company if they had access to the right technology, with 78% of these welcoming automation tools as a means of reducing tedious tasks.
Those 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.
More satisfied employees
The research also shows that a greater investment in the automation tools and systems that help alleviate employee workplace stagnation can increase morale and reduce turnover. Workers at 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 of 17%, compared to an average of 19% across other technology options.
“It’s encouraging to see business leaders acknowledge these trends and actioning plans to automate core processes and reduce tedious tasks as part of their digital transformation strategies,” says Castelyn. “We’d like to see them move from intention to action much faster, however. Employees are ready to embrace automation; 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-europe.com/insights.
Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services that enable individuals to work smarter from anywhere. With cultivated knowledge and organisational capabilities nurtured over its 85-year history, Ricoh is a leading provider of digital services, information management, and print and imaging solutions designed to support digital transformation and optimise business performance.
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 2022, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of about US$14.5-billion.
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