Tag: ricoh

AI is hype and will not take jobs

mad-scientistResearch from Ricoh Europe has poured cold water on the belief that AI and automation will take channel jobs.

A survey showed that around a third of staff were not in a position to start working with more automation and AI tools.

Ricoh Europe’s VP of corporate marketing, Javier Diez-Aguirre, said that there was a great deal of hype in Europe around digital empowerment and its impact on productivity.

“While AI and automation will transform the way that we work, a lack of training will drastically reduce ROI. Businesses need to consider the person who will be using the new technology. No amount of infrastructure spending will help a business that isn’t encouraging its staff to develop the right skills”, he said.

Despite headlines about being replaced by robots, Europe’s workers see technology to do higher value work, not something that will replace them, he said.

Improving workers’ confidence to use new technology was not a catch-all situation.

“Successfully empowering digital workplaces requires different skillsets and a variety of needs must be catered for. Engaging with workers at every step is vital”,  Diez-Aguirre added.

If this is the case, resellers trying to pitch AI and automation to corporates do not have to mention that the tech will mean job losses – because it won’t.

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.

Europeans will lean on tech

european-commissionGood news for the channel as research from Ricoh Europe suggests that companies want to lean more on technology to improve their fortunes.

While the world is feeling rather uncertain at the moment, many feel that the way the work will change in the near future as a result of digital disruption, economic uncertainty and political turbulence.

More than 95 percent of people thought their business would benefit from the changes.

Most people that were asked for their opinions by Ricoh saw technology as the best way of making sure they could improve the fortunes of their business. On the wish list were using IT to improve customer communications, increased productivity and simpler business processes.

The weak point was that most felt that there will be even more of a scramble for skilled staff.

Ricoh Europe CEO David Mills said: “How people relate to, engage and execute their work is fundamentally changing. In the years ahead we’ll see businesses fall into two distinct camps. Firstly, those with strong fundamental processes which empower employees by enabling them to do their best work, adapt and thrive. Secondly, those businesses which shy away from change and unfortunately set their employees up for failure.”

“As the world feels the impact of unprecedented change, business leaders must ask themselves where they see the most beneficial return on bringing more innovative technology into the company. To enable their business to stay focused on its long-term goals, and remain competitive, often the best place to start is with their employees,” he added.

Resellers are being bombarded with advice from vendors to get more involved in the trend.