Is workplace technology holding back Australian innovation?

by Ricoh Australia 22 February 2019

Need to know

  • 57% of Australian businesses have unclear systems and processes
  • Fragmented workplaces stifle collaboration and innovation
  • Seamless tech keeps the spotlight on productive innovation

New research shows that 14% of Australian businesses are using a “patchwork of tools” in their digital workplaces. More than half agree their current systems and processes aren’t clear and consistent, a red flag that fragmented workplace technology is part of the reason why Australians lag behind in global business innovation.

Innovate for change: How Australian organisations can transform by embracing a culture of innovation and new ways of working, offers practical insights into how connected and collaborative workplaces build capacity for innovation.

Leading transformation

Ricoh Managing Director, Andy Berry, says digital transformation to support innovation starts from the top, with a transparent vision for change.

“Everyone in your organisation must understand that innovation is the strategic agenda. Emerging technologies like robotics and AI are shaping our future and fragmented businesses can transform to take advantage of them.”

With an overwhelming 82% of business leaders believing innovative workplaces start with senior management, the onus is on leadership to overcome fragmentation to create an innovative everyday environment.

What does a fragmented workplace look like?

If your business grows quickly, you’re adapting to remote workers, or clinging to legacy systems, you may develop a fragmented workplace with a range of technology tools that don’t always talk to each other. Fragmentation makes it difficult to support meaningful collaboration and innovation says Andy Berry.

“As soon as you create friction with technology tools that aren’t working together, innovation is overshadowed by process,” he adds.

“Removing barriers to get everyone on the same technology page smashes the workplace silos that may be holding back innovation.”

Who is using collaboration tools?

Collaboration technology spans mobile devices to cloud services, but Australian business leaders still see it as primarily tied to meetings and voice communications. The survey found:

  • 64% use collaborative meeting room solutions
  • 43% use video collaboration solutions
  • 34% use interactive whiteboard technology
  • 33% use digital signage.

Once you have the collaboration technology in place, how you use it is crucial. More than one-third (36%) of business leaders admit their organisation does not use their collaboration tools in an integrated or systematic way. Andy Berry warns this is a sure way to fragmentation and frustration.

“Innovation is unlikely to spring from businesses holding their head above water with an incoherent mix of tools and processes,” he says.

“Business growth and survival demand innovation through consistent collaboration.”

How does your business compare against the research?

See how your business compares Get an innovation check-up for your business and download Innovate for change: How Australian organisations can transform by embracing a culture of innovation and new ways of working at our Innovate for Change article.