Staff do not fear AI

TerminatorDespite all the scare stories, staff are ok with AI and business automation, according to a new study.

Number crunchers at Ricoh found that users are looking forward to exploiting the benefits of AI and are less worried about their jobs.

There have always been some suspicions that resellers pitching ‘digital transformation’ face some resistance from customers working in IT departments fearing for their own futures. IT staff would not be keen on rolling out more automation and sitting back while the machines take over.

Staff quizzed by Ricoh Europe revealed that 65 per cent expected automation technology would help them be more productive and 52 per cent expected artificial intelligence to have a positive impact on their roles.

Ricoh Europe vice-president corporate marketing Javier Diez-Aguirre said that employees were saying much which echoed the macroeconomic productivity concerns troubling governments worldwide.

“Too much of the working day is taken up with tasks and processes that could be automated or streamlined. By freeing up this time, technology empowers employees to work smarter and focus on adding real value to their business,” he said.

Users are hoping that technology will give them quicker access to data, give them the chance to work from home more often and reduce repetitive tasks.

There is a sense that failing to take steps to embrace the latest technology could have damaging repercussions with 36 per cent of those quizzed by Ricoh expressing the fear that a business that does not invest will fail within five years.

“Business decision makers should take a long term, holistic view on the costs of their core processes. Cutting investment may free up short term capital, but the benefits of increased productivity promise to pay great dividends in years to come,” added Diez-Aguirre.

Those fears about failing to invest have also been researched by Ricoh, which released findings last month that indicated that 15% of mid sized firms in the UK felt they had missed out on revenue opportunities because they did not have access to the best technology.

Lack of training, inefficient deployment and IT teams failing to spot interesting products and services were the main reasons things were going wrong.

“Despite the vast range of technology that is available to organisations, it is clear that mid-sized businesses across Europe do not feel like they are getting good value from their choices. Improved efficiencies and better collaboration and communication between staff are crucial constituents of making a successful business,” said Diez-Aguirre.