European financial services organisations have made bigger strides towards unlocking the ‘bigger data’ opportunity – the digitisation of business critical, hard copy documents for business decision making – than any other industry, according to new research commissioned by Ricoh Europe. Half of the financial services leaders surveyed (49 per cent) said that their organisation now has less than ten per cent of business critical data stored only in hard copy format, compared to those working in education (37 per cent), healthcare (39 per cent) and the public sector (41 per cent).
The move to digitise more information is likely to be driven by recognition of the significant value lying dormant in hard copy documents that could enable organisations to make more informed business decisions. Almost nine out of ten (86 per cent) financial services leaders believe that having access to historical data from the previous economic downturn would have helped them to better manage the current one, compared to leaders working in the public sector (77 per cent), education (78 per cent) and healthcare (79 per cent).
The digitisation of business critical documents has also had a significant positive impact on operating costs. More than a third (35 per cent) of financial services organisations reported that they have reduced the costs of storing hard copy information to less than five per cent of turnover, again surpassing those in education (11 per cent), the public sector (13 per cent) and healthcare (26 per cent).
Rick Hewitt, Finance Director at Ricoh UK says, “The focus on optimising business critical document processes will unlock valuable business insight to support better financial and risk management. If integrated effectively with other data from across the business, the trends and insight that can be derived from business critical historical data can aid key decisions relating to areas such as forecasts and investments, helping to ensure that the financial services industry is well prepared for the future.”
Financial services organisations look set to continue digitising hard copy business critical data faster than their peers working in education, healthcare and the public sector. One in five financial services leaders expects their organisation to have completely digitised these documents within the next year, compared to seven per cent of healthcare and education leaders, and nine per cent of those within the public sector. As a result financial services organisations will continue to reduce costs, with half (48 per cent) expecting to save between five and ten percent of annual turnover.
Hewitt continues “Now is the time for financial services organisations to ensure all business critical processes are fully optimised as part of the digital transformation process. In addition to the significant cost savings, it will enable professionals to not only access information more readily but share it much quicker than before, improving responsiveness and internal collaboration. By reviewing the relevant processes, technology and the access staff have to data, financial services organisations will position themselves to become more agile and competitive as they progress further into the digital era.”
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