Global Business Insight

The research data is from a study called Humans and Machines, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Ricoh. It investigates the impacts of technology upon human creativity and intuition.

The fact that European businesses leaders are more concerned than global counterparts highlights the challenge operating in a complex business environment. While businesses worldwide are focused on growth and juggling the impacts of technology-led change, European businesses are additionally faced with a volatile currency and working within a complex regulatory framework. The findings reflect this environment with business leaders saying:

The top challenges when dealing with technology are:

# 1 Systems are not connected to each other

  • Europe 46%
  • Asia 39%
  • North America 34%

#2 It is evolving more quickly than the internal processes that support it

  • Europe 39%
  • Asia 38%
  • North America 37%

Data and personal privacy are the two biggest issues in the future of human-technology interaction. The third biggest challenge is the need to design intuitive processes for humans and machines to effectively communicate with each other.

Human Intuition

  • Business leaders believe they are more creative today than they were ten years ago, although the belief is lower in Europe (52 per cent) compared to Asia (64 per cent) and North America (63 per cent).
  • Europeans are less positive about whether technology helps them make good decisions, with 40 per cent believing it to be the case, compared to Asia (59 per cent) and North America (52 per cent).

The future

  • The research shows how important it is for business leaders to be prepared for even greater technology-led change in the future.
  • Start by regaining control of business-critical document processes to improve business agility, be more responsive to client needs and improve employee knowledge sharing.
  • By mastering a connected and efficient workplace today, business leaders can imagine an even greater future where they’re able to immediately embrace technology to reach new markets, respond to customers, and increase their competitiveness.

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