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Bizquip helps companies to create innovative workspaces and develop new future proof business models. Implementing cost controls and putting management tools in place around document workflows operating across businesses and adopting new ways of working to increase productivity are amongst some of the expertise that working with Bizquip can bring to your company.
Get in touch today, and see how to make your business fitter and leaner with a free health check.
In less than a month’s time, the EU will introduce new legislation that will have a huge impact on issues of data privacy and security. That legislation is, of course, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), set to come into force on 25th May 2018. The effect of GDPR will reverberate through every sector, affecting every business that is responsible for holding personal data. At this point, all organisations must consider the areas of their business that hold personal data that may slip through the net. Failure to identify these areas could render companies non-compliant to the regulation, leaving them open to crippling fines of €20 million or 4% of global turnover, depending on which is greater. Businesses need to adopt processes and procedures which enable them to secure the mobile and digital workspace. From extending security policies to encrypting business data, there are a number of simple steps which Bizquip can help companies take to ensure they are monitoring and managing documents safely. Which will ensure they are GDPR ready.
Lack of oversightIf oversight of where data is located constitutes preparation for GDPR, then a recent survey commissioned by Ricoh Ireland and carried out among IT professionals in Ireland revealed that many Irish businesses are dramatically underprepared. Over half (55%) of those surveyed admitted that their IT departments do not have full visibility of all business documents created across the organisation. In addition, 41% of Irish IT departments disclosed that they are not aware of all personal devices being used by colleagues to create documents for work-related activities.
The goal of GDPR is to increase the control that people have over their personal data. It will allow people to request access to their data and withdraw the right for businesses to hold it. As well as this, companies that do hold personal data will have to prove that they are doing all that they can to keep it safe, including disposing of it in a safe way.
Rapid growth in data volumesTechnological development in recent years has resulted in rapid growth in the amount of data gathered by businesses. At the same time, the proliferation of smart devices has made it more difficult for businesses to track where that data is stored. Functions like scan-to-email increase efficiencies, but also gather personal data which must remain secure. Keeping track of where this data is stored is crucial for businesses ahead of GDPR.
To enhance their data management processes, there are a number of steps that companies should take. Firstly, companies must extend existing security policies to encompass personal devices that are used to create or share business documents. Businesses must also implement procedures which enable documents to be stored safely from every device and also properly indexed, searchable and archived in a working system.
Digitisation reduces riskWhen it comes to document security, people often forget to consider paper documents. A shift towards cloud technology means that paper volumes are reducing all the time, but physical documents still remain pervasive in many organisations. Digitising physical documents can significantly reduce the risk of lost document and subsequent data breaches.
At Bizquip, we’re perfectly positioned to help our customers realise the benefits of acceleration, increased productivity and reduced costs through business process digitisation and automation. Ricoh provides an end-to-end managed solution to help organisations move from paper-based to digital workflows. Digitisation can play a significant role in putting controls in place to improve document management and security.
Print security is criticalSensitive information can be at risk at any stage of its lifecycle, particularly if it’s being managed in a poorly controlled document environment. Printers and their associated devices store significant amounts of business data and are vulnerable to breaches.
To reduce risk and improve print and document security, it’s essential that printers are correctly configured and offer the highest levels of protection to eliminate exposure to threats and vulnerabilities. Real-time intrusion detection, encryption and user authentication are all essential parts of a secure managed print solution and they ensure that only authorised employees can gain access to confidential business data.
Verifiable data disposalAs well as ensuring the ongoing security of data and documents, organisations need to closely monitor how their data is disposed of. Choosing a partner that provides certifiable proof of data destruction is critical.
Bizquip’s secure disposal service removes any residual information kept on end-of-contract devices and puts it beyond recovery. Our full data cleansing service eliminates both physical and digital data, ensuring that potentially sensitive business information does not leak into the public domain.
Together, the steps outlined above will help companies to improve their overall security standing. Although GDPR can be perceived as a significant roadblock for organisations, companies that embrace the legislation will be presented with an opportunity to get their processes in shape for the future business landscape. Ricoh holds ISO 27001 certification for information security management and we evolve our approach as the security landscape changes. While other businesses scramble to get their processes in line next May, those organisations which act now will be best placed to remain secure and fully protected at all times.
Let us help you keep your data and documents secure, download the report from Ricoh below.
The right Multi-Function printer will save you time and money. So what factors should you consider when buying one? At Bizquip, we’ve got 34 years of experience in solving everyday office problems with equipment that lasts.
Your first consideration should be the user. Your employees shouldn’t have to tear their hair out daily to ensure admin gets done, so check for touchscreen interfaces that are simple to use. Some features to look out for are drag-and-drop, swipe scrolling as well as widgets for updates on time and toner levels.
Compatibility is also key. If your company, like most, uses both Macs and PCs, you’ll need an MFP with plug-and-play capabilities. This means that the MFP allows users to scan, print and fax immediately, regardless of device. If you print in high-quality, check for PostScript emulators that offer identical print integrity.
Support matters in any long-term purchase, so when setting up a network of MFPs ensure that on-site installation and aftercare is in place. Advanced providers will also help with remote monitoring and reporting, to help you break down costs as by print rates, colour and page sizing.
At Bizquip, we’ve got 34 years of experience in solving everyday office problems with equipment that lasts. Get the right advice to make an informed MFP purchase. Printing, faxing and copying should be low down on your list of concerns.
The shift away from inbound paper mail and even email is a familiar story for many businesses. Organisations are moving to online modes of delivery, such as self-service portals, virtual advisors, and chatbots. This trend is coupled with a huge regulatory hurdle on the horizon: GDPR.
Coming into effect on 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new EU data protection framework.
GDPR impacts organisations established within the EU, as well as those based outside. It relates to processing activities for goods and services, or the processing of personal data of subjects inside the union.
And there’s a pretty large stick to put off any organisations contemplating non-compliance. The maximum fines are €20 million or 4% of an organisation’s total annual turnover (whichever is greater).
GDPR also includes some onerous provisions to promote accountability and governance, elevating the importance of an organisation being able to demonstrate compliance with GDPR obligations.
Essentially you must:
1. Implement a clear governance process regarding what and how data is managed, processed, stored, retained and deleted;
2. Maintain documentation, such as data protection manuals and personal data inventories;
3. Conduct data protection impact assessments
4. Deploy ‘privacy by design’ to ensure that privacy is embedded into any new processing or products that are deployed such as pseudonymization techniques (i.e. processing data in such a way that it can no longer be attributed to a specific ‘data subject’) or data minimisation.
For many organisations this can leave a mountain to climb with the deadline less than 12 months away. If existing data processes are not up to scratch, it doesn’t give businesses long to get the right infrastructure in place.
Digitisation can provide one of the answers.As mentioned earlier, a shift towards cloud means we’re seeing reductions in paper volumes for businesses. But despite this, physical documents are pervasive. There are still cultural and behavioural attachments to the portability, annotation and longevity of paper as a medium.
It means there’s still a significant burden of reduced productivity and cost felt through the persistence of paper. The receipt, opening, sorting, classification, distribution, management and storage of paper creates cottage industries of clerical activity. This reduces overall effectiveness, slows down customer service process cycle times, and limits cross-functional visibility of the salient business data contained in paper documents. So here lies the opportunity, when set against this backdrop of GDPR.
Organisations can look to digitise existing paper processes, which then helps put the necessary framework in place to be compliant with the incoming regulation.
By seizing the strategic initiative to implement digitisation at an enterprise scale, it allows the identification of personal data at source. Most importantly, this supports GDPR compliance. But the capture, processing and electronic storage of all inbound documents also allows organisations to reap significant operational benefits and competitive advantages.
At Bizquip, we’re proud to have helped our customers realise the benefits of acceleration, increased productivity and reduced costs through business process digitisation and automation.
Organisations can consolidate all inbound communications channels, across multiple media formats. This creates a single, aggregated and standardised electronic flow of tasks targeted to relevant business teams for specific actions. Fully embracing GDPR forms an opportunity to realise the benefits of digitisation. It will undoubtedly help an organisation get its processes in shape for the future business landscape. After all, why just survive when you can thrive?
At Bizquip we can help our customers realise the benefits of acceleration, increased productivity and reduced costs through business process digitisation and automation.
Hidden Threats And The Role Of Data CleansingIt’s just weeks away until the EU brings into force the biggest shake-up of data privacy and security that we have ever seen – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It’s important to think about the areas of businesses that hold personal data but might slip through the net.
GDPR’s introduction will mean that businesses of all sizes handling EU data must comply with stringent security practices. Those who think this only relates to large businesses are mistaken – SMBs must follow the regulation, too. Failure to do so could prove financially crippling; a data breach for an uncompliant company could result in fines of up to €20m or 4 percent of its annual turnover.
Ultimately, the arrival of GDPR will increase the control people have over their personal data. We’ll be able to request access to it and withdraw the right for businesses to store it. Companies will not be able to gather personal data without good reason and businesses will have to prove that they are doing all they can to keep it safe, which includes disposing of data in a proper way.
Smart devices and technologies mean the amount of personal and confidential data obtained by businesses has increased rapidly. Functions like scan-to-email increase efficiencies, but also gather personal data which must remain secure. Keeping track of where this data is stored and how it’s disposed of is crucial for businesses ahead of GDPR. This is especially true during the disposal of end-of-life equipment.
GDPR is causing businesses of all sizes headaches as they navigate a legal minefield. But it’s important to act now to avoid a data security scramble come next month. Working with service providers that build data security and GDPR best practice into their offerings from the ground up is key. Failure to do so could be catastrophic for a business’ bottom line and its reputation.
In a piece of Ricoh commissioned research, it was found that European employees demand smarter working, and expect it to help them be more productive. Some 41% are seeking a reduction in repetitive tasks and more than a third (36%) call for the automation of admin tasks. Technology can put employees at the center of an organisation, enabling and empowering them to do more.
When looking at AI through this lens, you can see some of the real-life business benefits.
Here are three areas in which a form of AI is making a big impact on our workplaces:
1) The AI-powered customer contact centerOne key advantage the human brain still has over machines is empathy. That’s why humans will always have the most crucial role when it comes to interacting with customers. However, we can use the machine to better equip our customer service team. The advantages it brings to the processing of massive amounts of data, or searching records immediately are obvious and great. A decision-making process (which mimics human intelligence) means incoming calls can be prioritised and a customer directed to where they need to go without the annoying sequence of “press 1 for…”
In an inbound call center, the machine processes the initial customer phone call (or email) and can ascertain where the customer needs to be referred to.
2) The AI chatbot salesmanChatbots have already been making waves in the customer service spheres, but what about sales?
A handful of brands are experimenting with how they can be used to handle non-urgent customer queries. If you’re not familiar with the term, chatbots mimic human conversations through websites and social media platforms. Think of the little pop-up on your screen that appears when you are booking a holiday that says: “Hi, I’m Charlie, I see you have been here for a while. How can I help?” Charlie is sadly not a person.
In consumer spheres, a useful application could be as something as simple as ordering a pizza through a chat service such as Facebook Messenger, and having it delivered to your door.
Staples is using machine learning to automate its ordering process for customers, teaching an army of chatbots to learn from the conversations it has with its customers. If the request is too complex, the system will pass it off to a human.
What’s the value in doing this? You free up your sales force from performing lower value interactions, allowing them to focus on more complex problems and add greater value to your customer.
3) The AI collaboration aidCollaborative workforces sit at the heart of successful businesses. As interactions get more complex, keeping an effective paper trail and organising workflows get increasingly more difficult.
This is where AI can come in to do the heavy lifting, making that experience seamless for all users, enabling them to more be productive.
Ricoh’s interactive whiteboards are an example of this in action. A cognitive-enabled, highly interactive tool, it uses IBM’s Watson intelligence to be an active meeting participant. Real-time analytics help guide discussions so teams can work smarter by making faster, better and more informed decisions.
Use of these AI applications are a way of empowering digital workplaces. Technology should be seen as a tool to help us, not hold us back, or replace us.
Investment in your firm’s technology is also an investment in your employees. Ask one of our sales team to demonstrate the Ricoh Interactive Whiteboards or drop into Sandyford and visit our Technology Suite where you can test software in real time.
Ricoh’s recently commissioned research – which surveyed 3,600 employees across Europe, including 250 in Ireland – found that 36% of workers feel their company will fail within five years if the right investments in technology aren’t made. Almost three quarters (72%) of employees surveyed across Ireland believe that their senior management will only introduce new technology if it helps to cut costs, as opposed to empowering their workforce.
Therefore, the mistake employers across Ireland are making is not investing in digital workplaces for their staff.
Concerns amongst Irish employees go beyond the stability of their current place of work, highlighting fears of a growing generational gap, with 70% believing that younger colleagues are better suited to working with new types of technology. What’s more, almost half (46%) feel that their competitors already have a technological edge.
Empowering digital workplacesEmpowering digital workplaces for employees is more than making technological investments, it’s about providing staff with the necessary digital skills training. Ireland’s confidence in this area is particularly troubling as it falls behind that of European respondents. Almost half of Irish workers (49%) feel they lack the skills to effectively use new technology, compared to 40% of European workers.
Commenting on the above findings, Chas Moloney, marketing director, Ricoh Ireland and the UK, said: “The fact that almost half of Irish workers feel they lack the necessary skills to fully utilise new technologies is quite worrying. It points to a serious lack of investment in digital skills training. The findings show that we’re lagging behind our European counterparts in this area. To ensure that Ireland retains its competitive edge, this issue needs to be addressed and resolved as soon as possible.”
Employees in Ireland, however, are certain of the value of technological capabilities, with 98% feeling positive about the ability of new technology to enable them to work in smarter ways. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed believe automation technology will help them to be more productive, while 52% are of the opinion that artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on their role. Furthermore, over half of Irish workers (51%) trust that new technology will reduce the number of repetitive tasks to be performed, which is more than European employees (41%).
It comes as no surprise, then, that the demand for digitally-empowered workplaces is evident. In fact, over two-thirds of Irish workers (67%) want employers to put emphasis on digital skills training so they can do the best job possible with the new tools and services being introduced. Europe’s response is the same, with 62% saying they too would like digital skills training.
So what does this all mean for the employer? According to the employers surveyed in Ireland, empowering workers digitally leads to more immediate access to data (44%), the ability to work from home more frequently (42%), and the reduction of repetitive tasks (41%). This means improved processes, resulting in increased time for workers to undertake more interesting work.
A flexible working environment promotes collaboration, stimulates interaction and recent studies have found that this type of environment can improve employee engagement, productivity, and output.
Bizquip can enable mobile workstyles in your organisation. Want to find out more about how you can empower your employees with digital solutions and technologies? Look no further than Bizquip, contact a Bizquip specialist.
Click here for more on the survey results throughout Europe.
The biggest threat to the survival or success of your business is cyber security. In 2017, the average cost of a data breach was $3.62 million (Ponemon Institute research). This cost is set to grow, as governments increasingly look to ensure businesses manage their data responsibly. This means your business must show how it can protect its data.
Today’s working environments often rely on multiple devices, different hardware assets and data storage that all can be vulnerable.
Your business should be able to grow without fear of exposure, and this process requires specialist knowledge. Bizquip draws on 34 years of experience and maintaining a high level of alertness across global assets is an area we can help with. Our partner Ricoh offers a wide range of security solutions.
Even an office printer can be hacked for document information. That’s why our partner Ricoh is prioritising offering security solutions that can give you real peace of mind. Complete digital workplace security comes in various stages:
ControlTaking control of your digital information means ensuring documents are only visible to relevant stakeholders. Crucially, ensuring your devices have authentication controls can also ensure only the relevant users access customer information. Ricoh’s locked print functions offer layers of security within advanced capture solutions. Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or Public Key Infrastructure encryption (PKI) can add additional layers.
PreservationEncrypting your business-critical information protects your customers. This combines firmware validation and tamper-proof hardware security, with cryptographic Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) within our devices. Password settings enable duties to be segregated, and access restriction to the relevant employees. The latest software should also enable user lockout, following multiple attempts. This prevents modification, falsification and opportunistic threats where you need protection the most.
DestructionJust as you need to be concerned about the importance of control and preservation of data, when a digital shredder is needed to ensure data cleansing, is secure. Regulations stipulate that data destruction must be comprehensive and eliminate potential future misuse. As such, our Data Overwrite Security System (DOSS) offers better security over your documents. As more and more businesses opt for cloud-based storage, so disposing of hardware is also crucial.
SupportBusinesses today need strategies to ensure that growth doesn’t equate to risk. Your business should be able to grow without fear of exposure, and this process requires specialist knowledge. Maintaining a high level of alertness across global assets is an area Bizquip can help with.
Read the full Security Solutions insight report here.
Digital transformation has troubled businesses large and small for many years. At its heart, it is the reinvention of business operations in order to draw maximum benefit from digital technology. This usually isn’t a straightforward process and no two digital transformation projects will be exactly alike. It is crucial to avoid thinking too rigidly about transformation. For example, you could argue Tesla’s decision to release its electric vehicle patents for free was a progressive example of industry-wide digital transformation. This helped the company make its technology the industry standard and to benefit from an accelerated electric vehicle industry.
Ricoh research has identified almost universal agreement on the importance of digitisation. 95% of mid-sized businesses (50-500 employees) across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain expect digitisation to provide business advantages. It is a given that all businesses will need to adapt and here’s how:
Communicate your priorities clearlyEuropean employees are aware of the value of digitisation. We found that 61% would like their management teams to use technology to balance the impact of broader macroeconomic changes on their business. However, as with any major change or initiative, communication is one of the most important skills for leading executives to master. Your employees will feel the effects of digital transformation most keenly. It’s crucial to keep communication lines open and be honest with your staff about progress, outcomes and impacts. It’s impossible to do absolutely everything at the same time. So, when prioritising, make sure people understand what you’re doing and why.
Know your business and listen to your employeesDespite the benefits of digitisation, many businesses still struggle to effectively transform core processes. Interestingly, 91% of mid-sized business leaders expect to face a harder path to digitisation than enterprise sized and small business rivals.
Assuming we could operate just like a start-up would have been ill-advised, possibly even dangerous. There has to be a balance between the requirements of good corporate governance and the innovative blue-sky thinking that the start-up mind-set allows. That being said, it’s important that the often rigid hierarchies of large organisations do not stifle innovation. Good ideas will frequently emerge from lower down an organisation. After all, these employees are at the coal-face, working with the specific processes you’re trying to change. Make sure employees throughout your organisation are regularly given a voice throughout any transformative process.
Bring every department into the processDigital transformation, by its nature, will be as varied and complex as the business itself. Business processes can encompass a whole range of initiatives. Successful transformation will inevitably have an impact on every element of a business. As such, each department has to be effectively engaged and included in the process. The HR function is one that is often overlooked in programmes of this kind, however, it has a crucial role to play. As mentioned, fundamental workplace changes often have the longest lasting impact on the staff who have to adapt to them. Without the support of the HR department, you risk alienating and upsetting your most valuable assets. Strong change management is one of the key ingredients to success.
Choose a senior project leader the whole business can rally behindPerhaps most importantly of all, a high-level leader within the business should be identified to take on clear responsibility for any digital transformation project. This leader’s role must be to balance the requirements of employees, departments and shareholders. Crucially, if they are to drive through real change within the business, they must be supported by other members of the board. This is not the sort of thing you can do on your own! Don’t be afraid to acknowledge where you have a skills gap, and potentially hire to fill it. Surrounding yourself with strong, innovative people is crucial for guaranteeing the success your project.
Business and employees are agreed on the importance and benefits of digitisation. But in order for this to become a reality and drive tangible business benefits, organisations need a driven leader, capable of uniting the whole business behind them. Digital transformation is one of the most important, exciting evolutions for any business to undergo. We owe it to everyone concerned to do it right!
Bizquip helps companies to create innovative workspaces and develop new future-proof business models. Implementing cost controls and putting management tools in place around document workflows operating across businesses and adopting new ways of working to increase productivity are amongst some of the expertise that working with Bizquip can bring to your company. Recently Bizquip assisted Arthur Cox redefine and design a streamlined print management solution to drive cost and efficiency benefits, read the case study.
For more information contact one of our business solutions team today.
Millennials are berated for always being on their phones and their consequential lack of social skills. They haven’t had the best reputation over the last decade. Questions about their love of avocado toast keeping them off the property ladder, and the image of them being lazy and entitled are at the forefront. But their effect on the workplace has been profound.
The millennial impactMillennials were the first generation to dispute the idea that the only way to be productive at work was to spend hours behind a desk. They advanced the concepts of flexible working and technology as ways of being more productive. They have a desire for regular feedback and encouragement to ensure their work is worthwhile.
PwC have stated that:
“the companies that have already been the most successful in attracting talented millennials – Google and Apple among them – are naturally innovative employers who are never restrained by ‘how things used to be done’. These companies are not specifically targeting millennials, but their culture, management style and approach to recruitment and retention naturally appeal to the millennial generation. And because of that, they are able to take their pick of the best younger talent around.”But just as the world is getting used to Millennials, the next generation has come to join the workforce.
A new class‘Generation Z’ are the first workers to be ‘digitally native’ – they don’t remember a time before technology.
“Whilst they were growing up Millennials didn’t witness any real recessions, so by the time they hit their 20’s they had no reason to doubt the credit lines being offered to them, including the 105% mortgages. They had a security in the housing market and were swept up in the good times that seemed to come with it. When the 2008 recession hit, it was directly affecting Millennials & older generations. Gen Z however were on the sidelines witnessing it. The impact of seeing this before reaching the times of spending their own money has made them more financially savvy and aware of the dangers of unlimited credit”
The Z perspectiveTo learn more about them, Ricoh UK, IEMA and the NUS held an event with at which Generation Z led the discussion. Companies described how their graduate schemes work and how they intend to attract the best new talent to a panel of six Gen Zers. The panel gave feedback and ideas.
It became apparent that Generation Z aren’t joining our businesses to sit back and listen while they work their way up the traditional hierarchy. They want to share ideas, meet challenges and have responsibility. They want to be part of the discussion of future strategies, learn from those around them and have people value their knowledge.
The companies that will benefit most will be those that embrace this change. We’re already seeing CEOs talk about how ‘reverse mentoring’ has changed their whole outlook. HR departments are also rewording job advertisements to give them a wider appeal.
What generation Z expectA survey by Ricoh UK & IEMA asked 1,300 final year students what’s important to them in the future of work. They selected salary, work/life balance, sense of meaning and opportunity to progress as the top four factors they look for in a role.
As the most debt ridden graduates we’ve seen, the salary choice isn’t a surprise.
The work/life balance was highlighted in all areas as being of great importance. Some commented on seeing parents miss out on family life through working long hours out of the house.
Others said they believe technology will empower them to move on from traditional office based roles. While 63% of respondents would prefer a flexible style of working, only 2% said they would want to be permanently home based.
As the world of work races forward, Generation Z will be a deciding factor in which companies stay agile and which become stagnant. Are we embracing change or are we resisting it? Can we open ourselves to learn from this new, enthusiastic generation, even if it means bringing down our traditional hierarchy barriers?
Find out how Bizquip enabled Arthur Cox to develop new ways of working and create an innovative workspace.
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