One of the big questions facing businesses in the current century, especially with regard to the IT industry. Research commissioned by Ricoh from Censuswide shows that failure to innovate in IT can significantly limit business revenue. The survey was conducted on a sample of one thousand medium-sized European companies (50-500 employees) located in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The research shows that 90% of the decision makers surveyed identify a lack of technological innovation as one of the main causes of lost revenue. This loss would average 13 million euros per company. Companies, moreover, say that revenues could increase by 15% (or more, as in the Italian case where an average value of 18% has been identified) thanks to technologies. Therefore, an attempt was made to understand what the main causes of the lack of IT innovation were. Three main factors according to respondents:

  • inadequate implementation and training – 42% of the sample;
  • lack of suppliers able to offer products and services that meet needs – 33%;
  • difficulty for the IT department in identifying attractive products and services.

Contrary to expectations (ours :D), budget constraints were an obstacle for only 12% of respondents.

Although the midsize companies surveyed acknowledged losses resulting from a lack of IT innovation, 79% of them still met their mid-year sales goals, and of those, nearly all acknowledge that technology contributed to this success by improving collaboration and communication among employees (59% of the sample) and enabling cost savings (53%). The remaining 21% who did not meet the target identify the macroeconomic environment as the primary cause of failure.

We return to take a look at our country and find that the somewhat optimistic view presented by the research is alas not reflected. First of all, let’s consider that Italy has the peculiarity of basing its economic system on 98% of micro, small and medium-sized companies. While this small size is a positive sign of elasticity and flexibility, it also affects the drive towards innovation. The entrepreneurs who are supposed to design and implement these processes are often on their own, having to lead the company while also working with it. Not to mention the cultural and age factor: in Italy, the small and medium-sized entrepreneurial and artisan class is aging. “Incumbent” companies do not innovate, or do so to a small degree, because those who lead them are thinking about the immediate personal future of retirement rather than the strategic future of the company. Therefore, it would already be a great thing if our entrepreneurs asked themselves the question “IT investments: loss or gain?” 😉.

Sara Avanzi