Research, commissioned by Ricoh Europe, has found that 95% of mid-sized businesses across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain expect digitisation to provide business advantages. Mid-sized businesses also expect the process to remove barriers to growth with 63 per cent of respondents singling out costly regulatory requirements as most likely to be overcome.
However, 91 per cent of mid-sized business leaders expect to face a harder path to digitisation than enterprise sized and small business rivals. Of most concern was the ability of enterprises to hire staff to specifically manage digitisation processes. Small businesses were perceived as having an easier path to digitisation thanks to greater agility as well as being more technology driven and understanding of the benefits of digitisation.
Despite these concerns, mid-sized business leaders are powering ahead with digitisation initiatives to transform their business processes, with 94 per cent investing in digitisation specifically. Respondents are most likely to invest 11-20 per cent of their IT spend on the process.
Mid-sized businesses are united in their understanding of the benefits of digitising, with 66 per cent agreeing that it would provide their business with a significant competitive advantage over rivals. Improving businesses processes came out as the most demonstrable positive; while the finance department is seen as the top beneficiary of the technology.
David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe said, “while a fundamental part of any digitisation journey, technology is, of course, just one piece of the puzzle. Mid-sized businesses have a clear appetite for digitisation to improve processes and ways of working, but progress is being restricted by factors beyond their control. The wider need for support for mid-sized businesses’ problems must be recognised at a government level across Europe. This means the mid-market being treated as the unique and dynamic group of businesses that it is, and for unnecessary red tape to be cut if businesses of all sizes are to take part in an open and fair race to digitisation.”