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Konica Minolta research reveals the status of digital transformation in European companies
Wednesday 09. March 2022 - Data security was named as the biggest challenge by the companies (34%). Almost four years after the introduction of GDPR in May 2018, the study also concludes that data protection (GDPR) is still a problem for many companies (28%).
Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence’s Digital Transformation Survey unveils challenges of digital transformation and how outsourcing can be a digitalisation enabler
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated numerous trends surrounding digital transformation, putting tremendous pressure on businesses to adapt remote work infrastructures and digitise their workflows. This overnight transformation has caused its share of pain points, especially among microbusinesses and SMBs that were not used to a remote infrastructure and already strapped for resources and budget. At the same time, many organisations have found outsourcing to be an effective tool at tackling digital transformation shortcomings in their own organisation. However, microbusinesses are behind the pack in terms of digital transformation. These are the findings of the Digital Transformation Survey* conducted by Keypoint Intelligence on behalf of Konica Minolta.
Data security, data protection (GDPR), remote working and shortage of IT personnel are the top challenges
Cybersecurity threats have been a growing issue in recent years and recent trends have only made this challenge greater: The abrupt shift toward remote working and the increased reliance on digital frameworks, coupled with infrastructure and education gaps from employees and companies on handling said workflows, created an atmosphere where criminals could thrive. This is also reflected in the study: Data security was named as the biggest challenge by the companies (34%). Almost four years after the introduction of GDPR in May 2018, the study also concludes that data protection (GDPR) is still a problem for many companies (28%). It is not only large companies that need to follow GDPR requirements, but small to medium-sized enterprises – those with more than 250 employees – must also do so. Looking at other results of the study, we find that around a quarter still have problems with remote working in terms of infrastructure / IT services (26%) and remote working in terms of applications/software (25%). In addition, 25% agreed that keeping up to date with new technologies is a challenge. At the same time, there is a shortage of specialised IT personnel (23%) who can solve these problems.
More than half of the companies outsource
To overcome these challenges, many organisations are getting external support. More than half of all organisations (51%) had already outsourced at least part of their workflows. Above all, IT security and data protection are at the top of the list of outsourced activities (46%). No wonder, issues of this nature can literally bankrupt organisations if not handled rapidly and effectively – security simply cannot wait. Application development (34%) and IT infrastructure (33%) are also frequently outsourced. Disruptions to either of these fields would mean lost productivity and potential security risks. The growing use of outsourcing reflects the reality that skilled IT personnel are in short supply. Many IT staff are also currently feeling overloaded and under immense stress from having to shift to remote workflow solutions, while maintaining data security and compliance.
“For companies of all sizes, there are still many hurdles to overcome in the journey to digital transformation. Our study shows that many organisations have found outsourcing to be an effective tool at tackling digital transformation shortcomings in their own organisation. An external provider can support a company quickly and effectively with additional IT expertise and suitable IT solutions”, states Olaf Lorenz.
Head of International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe
Majority of companies have already adapted some form of cloud solution
One of the digitalisation initiatives that has also seen a big boost during the pandemic is the move to the cloud, especially as this is essential for hybrid and decentralised working. The majority of all organisations surveyed had already adapted some form of cloud solution (72%), and had therefore already started digitisation initiatives. Going forward, looking at the areas in detail, companies see the cloud as the most important infrastructure for their collaboration management (78%), process management (76%), print management (69%) and content management (65%).
Information and document management
When it comes to the current state of information and document management, it is no real exaggeration to say that chaos reigns. Document storage is still not well organised in the majority of organisations (66%). Many organisations are using too many disparate platforms in their workflows, creating a plethora of opportunities for siloes and productivity obstacles. But the majority are planning some kind of consolidation (85%).
Microbusinesses are behind the pack in terms of digital transformation
While the study continues to show that digital transformation is a top priority for 45% of companies, this varies depending on the size of company. While 51% of SMEs and 41% of SMBs are making transformation a priority, only 35% of microbusinesses are doing so. Microbusinesses’ lesser focus on digital transformation is also noticeable in their digital transformation initiatives. 11% of microbusinesses have not yet started deploying digital transformation-related efforts and technology – by comparison, only 3% of SMBs and 2% of SMEs have not started such initiatives. Across businesses of all sizes, only 4% on average have not embarked on digital transformation efforts, which means that 96% are already at some stage of digitalisation. Thus, microbusinesses are clearly behind the curve in terms of digital transformation. But this puts them in danger of losing a competitive edge.
Outsourcing managed IT services will grow in the near future
“We believe that the growing complexity of today’s online workplace ecosystem is not going away anytime soon, leading Keypoint Intelligence to conclude that outsourcing managed IT services will only grow more essential in the near future,” says Colin McMahon, Associate Director at Keypoint Intelligence. “We see opportunities in this new, digitised world for businesses of all sizes, but especially for microbusinesses and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to overcome their personnel and budget shortcomings by embracing the view that not every process needs to be handled in-house. With the right combination of digital process adoption and through researched and careful partnerships, companies can enhance their digital transformation and position themselves to be more competitive in the future.”
Olaf Lorenz adds: “It is precisely because of the complexity of the digital workplace that Konica Minolta has its vision of an ‘Intelligent Connected Workplace’. The intelligent connection of the various data points should enable smooth and smart ways of working that support employees, relieves them from repetitive and routine tasks and allow them to focus on productive tasks. This is enabled by our broad portfolio of technologies, services, solutions and consulting expertise in areas such as Managed Print Services, Information Management Services, Cloud Services or Managed IT Services, to name just a few examples, with which we want to take a holistic look at the digital workplace and integrate and connect all areas.”
* About the survey:
The Konica Minolta ‘Digital Transformation study’ was conducted from July to September 2021 and in collaboration with Keypoint Intelligence. It included 1,775 respondents in Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal and Romania. These individuals came from a wide variety of company sizes, ranging from 1 to 2 people (5%) up to 5,000 or more employees (9%). The mean was 1,129 employees. The analysis was broken down to three company sizes: 1-19 employees (microbusinesses), 20-199 (SMBs), and >200 (SMEs).