Business processes to enable organisations to be more agile - Business Works
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Business processes to enable organisations to be more agile

Chas Moloney, Director, Ricoh UK By 2020 the impact of new technology in the workplace will force businesses into a new era of decentralisation according to research conducted by the Economist Intelligence unit on behalf of Ricoh. The results show that 63% of business leaders predict a shift towards a more decentralised business model and that responsibility for business decision making will move from centralised management boards towards individual employees.

"We believe that businesses will be more process-orientated, requiring critical information to be more centralised in that data can be received, stored and retrieved by employees. Such transparency means decision making becomes less hierarchical and allows employees who are collaborating directly with customers to make important business decisions without delay," says Chas Moloney, Director, Ricoh UK.

In the past, decentralised structures were generally viewed as inefficient in that they encouraged duplication and lack of consistent strategic direction. The research shows that by 2020, effective business processes will empower workers to meet the needs of the market place better and enable organisations to be more agile in an uncertain economic climate.

Supporting closer customer collaboration is essential as the research shows that by 2020, business leaders believe that customers will be the main source of new product or service ideas. Furthermore, 86% of business leaders participating in the research agree that customers will become an integral part of internal decision-making. In addition, project teams will typically include people from outside the organisation such as customers and business partners. This change is at the heart of the decentralised business of the future.

At the core of successful decentralisation in 2020 lies a network of integrated processes to manage information and ensure that it is accessible by key knowledge workers, wherever they are, to make business decisions. In the future, there will also be a need to consider how experts outside the organisation can input and retrieve information to act on behalf of the business. The majority, 85.7%, of business leaders agrees that project teams will typically include members from outside the organisation, for example, customers, partners and communities.

Information will also need to be created, stored and retrieved securely by knowledge workers. Central governance is essential to protect business critical data, one of the organisations most valuable assets. However this will be challenging as currently 43% of all business critical document processes in European organisations rely on hard copy data and only 22% of organisations currently have a fully automated workflow.

For more information about the research, please visit:

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