The following are remarks from the senior vice president of technology and head of digital services center at Ricoh USA, Bob Lamendola. They have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
A majority of companies in the U.S. offer employees hybrid work options and many job holders currently work from home full time. Every workplace will continue to change and evolve as digital influences outside of the workplace increase expectations at work. Here are five insights about using technology and information to optimize and acknowledge the human aspects of work and enhance the employee experience.
1. Bring People, Process And Technology Together
Information and technology are at the core of unlocking insights about people and processes. Our heritage in print, data management and data capture has let us see first hand the struggles that occur when people, processes and technology do not sync. When we integrate these important elements, we bring our customers efficiencies across the organization.
Automation, integration and advanced analytics are often behind the scenes in powering insights and optimizing processes that streamline work and elevate experiences. Cloud functionalities are also key to bringing holistic views of information where and when they’re needed, and to allowing remote fixes and predictive analytics.
Taking a human-centric, system-centric and document-centric approach to work can propel business forward. But so many companies still view these as separate management responsibilities and miss the opportunities that happen when people, process and technology are brought together.
2. Meet Untethered Expectations
While working anywhere anytime has been a concept for decades, there are new freedoms that technology and information can provide. Digital services can streamline the lives of workers and give them the flexibility to work where they want—and often on more of what they want. Beyond mobility, freedom means they can focus on more strategic activities, collaboration and meaningful work versus being tethered to manual or time-consuming operational tasks.
For instance, work processes that are not digitized take three times longer on average to complete than digitized processes. Companies can use information and technology so that employees are not held back from their full potential.
At Ricoh, empowerment is key—for IT, employees and decision-makers across a variety of industries from retail to healthcare. Moving to automation, improving and securing access to information and upgrading collaboration tools are all ways that technology provides the freedom that today’s workers are seeking.
3. Embrace Information To Optimize Efforts
While data and information are often used for customer insights, many businesses overlook the opportunity to also use cloud capabilities, analytics and information to optimize operational processes and make workplaces more human.
At Ricoh, we love too much information. We embrace all information to optimize efforts. Some organizations, on the other hand, can’t utilize information because 80% of their data is unstructured.
When we encounter too much or unmanageable information, we capture, connect and secure it to unlock potential optimizations. By digitizing forms and documents in the cloud and applying hardworking technologies like AI, machine learning and low code—unstructured data is turned into meaningful information that can improve the workplace experience.
The power of the cloud lets us unify security, compliance and analytics to get to the outcomes that matter—like collaboration, secure storage, enhanced customer interactions and faster response and operations speeds.
4. Protect Hard Work And Intellectual Property
Employees work hard for organizational success, and technology should help them in their efforts. However, every information access point brings risk. Any modern technology connected to the internet is vulnerable to attack, so maintaining device security is as important as its physical integrity. Protecting employees from downtime and the organization from exposure prevents frustration and vulnerability—two very human and potential aspects of today’s work environment.
Cyberattacks are on the rise with ransomware as the most prevalent form of attack, U.S. government statistics show. Our approach in RansomCare powered by Bullwall creates a multi-layer solution that identifies, contains and isolates ransomware attacks at the source to limit their impact on data integrity, system downtime, productivity and overall operations.
Combined with our other cybersecurity services that include intrusion prevention, advanced endpoint protection, incident remediation, security assessments, vulnerability management and penetration testing—we can fill gaps and weaknesses in the security posture of most organizations.
5. Increase IT Agility For Organizational Success
As the backbone of organizational agility, IT can bring success to an entire organization.
Artificial intelligence for IT operations, or AIOps, is just one example of the kinds of tools available today to increase agility. With AIOps, businesses can leverage machine learning and process learning to help drive directions and decisions, analyze massive amounts of data, uncover disruption sources and identify systematic patterns that could impact performance.
Managed IT services help businesses stay competitive by using the latest technology to keep data secure, enable remote work, simplify cloud migrations and maintain IT infrastructures.
Ricoh is also seeing customers gain agility through incremental improvements in business processes with micro-automation, ERP integration with partners and the empowerment of so-called citizen developers―who can build their own dashboards and models to accomplish organizational goals.
User friendly technology that enhances agility not only increases organizational success, it also goes a long way toward focusing on employee needs in the workplace.