Six Ways Your Corporate Information May Be Gridlocked

Malvern, PA, July 21, 2015 - Organizations rarely lack information in this new world of work. Unfortunately, information is gridlocked and unavailable to drive business decisions on the fly, according to new research from Ricoh and IDC*.

Here are six ways your information might be gridlocked:

  1. Lack of collaboration tools – Only 1 in 4 organizations (27 percent) supply collaboration tools to all employees, and only 3 in 10 (30 percent) provide Web conferencing to all employees, according to our nearly 300 Web-based interviews with key decision-makers in the United States. These tools are essential given increasingly distributed workforces and the fact that nearly half of workers (46 percent) are spending at least half their time working outside the traditional office.
  2. Weak mobile support – Virtually everyone carries a computer in the form of a smartphone or tablet, but many workers can’t leverage its power for business. Only 3 in 10 employees (29 percent) can access most/all core enterprise software applications via their mobile devices. Only 1 in 4 (24 percent) can print from most/all of the core software applications they use.
  3. Silos – Though decried for decades, information silos still proliferate business, making it hard to see, compile and share valuable information across the company. For example, half of employees need to access 6 or more databases/repositories to do their jobs, but fewer than 1 in 5 employees (18 percent) can actually search across them.
  4. Manual workflows – How much time is lost to unnecessary busy work? A lot. Only 2 in 5 organizations (41 percent) have automated most/all their workflows, and only 1 in 4 (24 percent) have seamlessly integrated workflows across department boundaries.
  5. Overdependence on paper – Roughly half of businesses’ workflows are based in paper, jeopardizing speed, accuracy and enterprise visibility.
  6. Intangibility – Nearly 40 percent of an organization’s information/institutional knowledge resides in filing cabinets or “employees’ heads.”

“We’re living in an exhilarating new world of work, but from a technology standpoint, many organizations seem stuck in the 1990s,” said Angèle Boyd, Group VP, General Manager, Imaging/Output Document Solutions & SMB at IDC. “This is the age of information mobility where it’s critical to instantly get the right information to the right people in the right form. Without the right technology applied to the right data and workflows, your information is flat-out gridlocked.”

So what exactly is the antidote?
Information mobility is the ability to move information throughout an organization, regardless of whether that format is paper or digital. It’s also the ability to transform that information – and to repurpose it or search for it – in any format. Ultimately, it means having access to the relevant data one needs anytime, anywhere in any form to drive better business outcomes.
Several technologies have been documented to support an organization’s information mobility, according to IDC’s research for Ricoh, including strong mobile device enablement, enterprise search, self-service portals, business process management software, enterprise social networks (ESN), intelligent data capture, and print/scan support for cloud applications and mobile devices.

Benefits of information mobility
One phase of IDC’s research into information mobility included in-depth qualitative interviews with 12 companies determined to have achieved information mobility maturity. These organizations represented a variety of industries – healthcare, financial services, government, manufacturing, energy, technology and transportation – and all had more than 500 employees. IDC probed the value these businesses experienced as a result of implementing several key information mobility-related technology initiatives.

Among the findings:

  • These companies experienced average net productivity increases of 28 percent.
  • Eight of the 12 companies experienced revenue increases, which averaged 24 percent.
  • Ten of the 12 experienced cost of operations reductions by an average of 23 percent.

Companies that embraced information mobility saw an average annual revenue increase of $7,210 per employee, a cost reduction of $16,027 per head, higher customer count, and lower churn. Companies with highest information mobility maturity enjoyed annual benefits in excess of $40,000 per employee, with the average being $24,000.
In its phase two research with 292 organizations, IDC categorized respondents based on their information mobility (IM) maturity. Only 17 percent had achieved the highest level (Champions), with the next three categories coming in at 33 percent (Contenders), 32 percent (Beginners) and 18 percent (Candidates).
Champions often dramatically outperformed the less mature companies. For example,
76 percent of Champions provided mobile support to access most/all core enterprise software and repositories versus less than 27 percent for the others. Two-thirds of Champions (67 percent) had enabled mobile printing from most/all core enterprise applications versus less than 23 percent for the others.
“This research is central in our mission to help more organizations obtain greater business results from the information they create and capture every day,” said Tim Vellek, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “Too often, corporate information is trapped in places and formats that are hard to search, access and incorporate into automated workflows. With information mobility as our framework, however, we are helping organizations devise strategies that drive new business results.”
Ricoh is dedicated to improving customers’ information mobility by understanding their workflows, improving their employees’ access to critical information, and helping them more effectively meet an ever-changing array of business challenges.
For details on Ricoh’s full line of products, services and solutions, please visit
*IDC InfoBrief sponsored by Ricoh, Addressing Information Gridlock Achieves Real Business Benefits, July 2015.