Ricoh Ireland today announced the findings of its 2017 Workstyle Innovation Survey, which reveals that only 37% of workers have the authorisation and access tools to work remotely.

With so few employees able to work effectively away from the office, companies in Ireland are missing out on the main benefits of mobile working. Among these are the ability to attract and retain the best talent (37%), increased productivity (69%) and improved customer service (36%).

This research, which was carried out in association with TechPro magazine in November and involved 175 IT decision-makers from private and public sector organisations across Ireland, highlights a major issue for Irish businesses. Not only are they potentially losing out on bringing in the best talent but they are also failing to empower their current employees.

More than half of respondents (54%) cited technology issues as the main barrier to workstyle innovation. The other two most quoted obstacles were a rigid culture (49%) and the unwillingness of senior management to embrace it (43%). It therefore comes as no surprise that only 51% believe their business is fully embracing digital transformation.

Chas Moloney, Director, Ricoh Ireland and UK, commented: “There is still a significant number of employees who have limited or restricted remote access to work materials and tools. There’s a digital revolution taking place throughout the world and Irish businesses need to be a part of this, or they will be left behind.

“With the importance of work/life balance nowadays and increasing numbers of people working at home or on the move, the appetite for mobility and accessibility among workers has never been greater. Thus, it is of utmost importance that organisations take full advantage of the latest technologies in order to enable their workers and allow them to effectively and securely work where and when they want.”

While such systems and mobile devices are helping workers to be productive and collaborate with one another, 85% of organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to manage and secure business documents. Over two thirds (67%) of IT departments do not have visibility of all business documents and more than half (55%) are not aware of all personal devices being used to create work documents.

These results raise serious concerns regarding the monitoring and management of business-related documents, as well as the devices that people are using for work. This is one area that will be very important for companies next year with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 2018.

While almost three quarters of businesses claim to be compliant already or making progress towards compliance, 28% of companies do not believe they will be GDPR-compliant by the date the legislation is due to come into force. In addition, 40% of companies have not made the digitisation of all critical information policy and over a quarter of organisations do not have secure procedures to manage hard copies of confidential business information.

Moloney said: “Companies in Ireland do need to address and embrace digital change in order to remain competitive and agile, but they also need to ensure that critical information and business documents are processed, archived and stored correctly. If they fail to do this, they could be opening themselves up to serious financial and reputational risk.”

To download the full report, click here.

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