Businesses to enter a new era of decentralisation

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Businesses to enter a new era of decentralisation

London, 16 February - New figures from a study sponsored by Ricoh show that by 2020 the impact of new technology in the workplace will force businesses into a new era of decentralisation. The research, conducted by the Economist Intelligence unit, shows that 63 per cent of business leaders predict a shift towards a more decentralised business model and that responsibility for business decision making will move from centralised management boards towards individual employees.

“We believe that businesses will be more process-orientated, requiring critical information to be more centralised in that data can be received, stored and retrieved by employees. Such transparency means decision making becomes less hierarchical and allows employees who are collaborating directly with customers to make important business decisions without delay,” says Chas Moloney, Director, Ricoh UK.

In the past, decentralised structures were generally viewed as inefficient in that they encouraged duplication and lack of consistent strategic direction. Recent Ricoh research shows that by 2020, effective business processes will empower workers to better meet the needs of the market place and enable organisations to be more agile in an uncertain economic climate.

Supporting closer customer collaboration is essential as the research shows that by 2020, business leaders believe that customers will be the main source of new product or service ideas. Furthermore, 86 per cent of business leaders participating in the research agree that customers will become an integral part of internal decision-making. In addition, project teams will typically include people from outside the organisation such as customers and business partners; this change is at the heart of the decentralised business of the future.

At the core of successful decentralisation in 2020, lies a network of integrated processes to manage information, and ensure that it is accessible by key knowledge workers, wherever they are, to make business decisions. In the future, there will also be a need to consider how experts outside the organisation can input and retrieve information to act on behalf of the business. The majority, 85.7 per cent, of business leaders agree that project teams will typically include members from outside the organisation, for example, customers, partners, communities.

Information will also need to be created, stored and retrieved securely by knowledge workers. Central governance is essential to protect business critical data, one of the organisations most valuable assets. However this will be challenging as currently 43 per cent of all business critical document processes in European organisations rely on hard copy data and only 22 per cent of organisations currently have a fully automated workflow.

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| About Ricoh |

Ricoh is a global technology company specializing 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 2,195 billion yen based on the IFRS accounting standard (approx. 21.3 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.

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For further information, please contact:
Weber Shandwick (for Ricoh UK)
Hem Raheja
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7067 0712
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