Ricoh has claimed that ageing back-office legacy systems are causing delays in the move to streamlined business-critical document processing.
The vendor has updated its document governance index, produced by Coleman Parkes Research from 1,075 executive interviews, which it says shows that globalisation, mobility, cloud computing, and changing workplace demographics mean organisations need to rethink the way they work.
But businesses are currently struggling to prioritise the process changes that need to happen, it argued.
The Europe-based businesses surveyed said new devices such as smartphones and tablets are helping them manage their business-critical document processes, but most said they were unable to maximise such technologies because their back-end systems could not fully support them, according to Ricoh.
"This disjointed approach to process management could mean document processes are exposed to bottlenecks, duplication of effort and security risk," the vendor insisted.
According to the vendor, 78 per cent of the "business leaders" polled said they had spent money on new tech even though they had not been using the full functionality of their existing systems. Further, many focused on new IT for front-office deployment, failing to integrate it with the back-office systems.
"Technology is of little use if it is not fully integrated within the business. It is unlikely to effectively transform the workplace alone. Instead, it should be fully integrated with business-critical document processes and the way employees work, to ensure it is helping the organisation to run more smoothly, more quickly, and more securely," the vendor said in its related white paper.
Ricoh also said respondents appeared confused about how best to use cloud computing. About 70 per cent said they were using cloud-based mobile access for document processing, but only half said it was making document process management any easier. Ricoh blamed that on a "lack of planning by business leaders".
According to Ricoh in its related process efficiency index, existing business processes across Europe are "unnecessarily labour-intensive" and wasting billions of pounds each year.
"While most organisations are conducting regular process reviews, it is unlikely that they are supporting the elimination of information bottlenecks," the vendor said in a summary.
Joseph Pucciarelli, programme director for technology financing and executive strategies at IDC, said document-driven processes affect revenue, not just cost.
"In a recent IDC study, we found that improving document-driven processes play a strategic role and can improve top-line revenue. In fact, respondents said that fixing issues in customer-facing processes could improve revenue by 10.1 per cent and time to market by 13.4 per cent," Pucciarelli said, in a video sponsored by Ricoh.
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