Technology in the modern workplace

We conducted a survey of European IT buyers across a number of sectors. Learn how the results could influence innovation in your business.

Technology in the modern workplace

A third of European countries are behind on new technology

When it comes to meeting new technology needs in the modern workplace, over a third of European companies are behind the times.

We conducted a survey of 3,600 European IT buyers across retail, education, healthcare and the corporate sector, and discovered that 38% admitted to not actively keeping up to date with new technology. Forty-two per cent stated that they are aware of the technology needs in their organisation, but are not actively addressing them; and a further 14% admitted not being aware of their organisation’s needs.

Survey respondents also indicated that implementation of new technology in the workplace was mostly triggered by ‘strategic decisions’ (58%) and ‘utilising budgets’ (43%). ‘Employee feedback’ only appears as a third consideration (39%).

So what does this mean for businesses? This comes at a time when business leaders are trying to navigate rapid digital transformation, which is impacting talent recruitment, and employee productivity and satisfaction. The implementation of  technology in the workplace is an important contributor to corporate success; another Epson survey found that 85% of European businesses agreed that new technology provides a competitive advantage1 and that working with more efficient technology can account for 21% increased employee productivity.

As information technologies continue to evolve and further improve workplace efficiency, investment decisions will have more of an impact on company growth and profitability; and that’s without taking into account the satisfaction levels of key talent who will have higher expectations in terms of digital resources. Seventy-six per cent of employees today believe that the technology used in their workplace is not efficient.

The survey results show that companies need to respond better to today’s business needs and employee expectations – especially now with Generation Y moving into leadership roles and Generation Z entering the workforce. Keeping pace with new technologies so that workers are not left with outdated equipment needs to be a priority in the era of business digitisation. Of course, budget pressures play a role in IT buyer’s decisions, so switching to products that are cost-effective while addressing the issues of today’s workforce is crucial.

Encouragingly, Epson’s research showed that approximately 61% of IT decision makers are conducting trials to assess the impact of new technology when implemented in the workplace, showing prudence in the purchasing decision process. Furthermore, 39% claim to introduce new technology into their workplace at least once every six months; although the field is not level across Europe. IT buyers in France were significantly less likely to adopt new technologies regularly (14%), while those in the UK were the most likely (43%).

Companies that don’t keep up with technology needs will start to see a bigger productivity gap as the technology evolves. Many companies are already reaping the benefits of wearable, collaborative, and automated technologies; but even something as basic and essential to daily office life as more efficient printing solutions can make a huge difference. Today’s IT buyer has a lot of power and a lot of responsibility when it comes to contributing to company productivity.

1 Research done by FTI Consulting on behalf of Epson Europe, 2014.