Irish companies are in danger of falling victim to digital disruption, regulatory requirements and economic shifts that are fundamentally changing their markets. According to new research, commissioned by Ricoh and conducted by Coleman Parkes, 35% of the 150 Irish business leaders surveyed say they will go out of business by 2020 if they fail to innovate in response to these changes.

While 94% recognise the impact of digital disruption in their sector, 61% are not yet in a position to take advantage of its benefits. The top benefits of innovation were cited as competitive advantage, increased productivity, improving growth and winning new customers.

Eighty-eight per cent of business leaders in Ireland said that increasing automation will drive significant change in their organisations. Of these, less than a third said that they are ready for automation now and 29% said they won’t be ready in two years’ time.

In the next two years, almost a quarter predict they will be unable to react swiftly enough to changing government regulations. Moreover, 35% of respondents revealed that more government support is needed to support innovation.

Almost half (43%) of Irish business leaders believe greater access to digital technologies would make their businesses more innovative and some are currently exploring culture changes to improve innovation within their organisations.

For example, 55% are looking at setting up employee innovation workshops in order to teach employees how to come up with new ideas. The other two most popular approaches for consideration are the creation of safe spaces for experimentation to trial new ideas or processes and the encouragement of employees to be involved in projects outside of their day-to-day tasks.

Gary Hopwood, Managing Director, Ricoh Ireland, says: “It’s very worrying that the future of so many Irish organisations are at risk because of their failure to innovate. Change is happening and it’s happening now, which is why it’s vital that business leaders take action as soon as possible and formulate a strategy that enables them to embrace digital disruption.

“Organisations can’t afford to stand still if they want to remain competitive and continue to grow. They must think about how they are empowering employees, supporting creativity, helping customers and boosting business performance. While every company is individual in terms of their needs, the need to innovate is crucial for all organisations.”

Find out more at www.ricoh-europe.com/thoughtleadership.

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