Canon research: audit anxiety signals gaps in digital makeup

According to new research from Canon Europe, just one in four IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) feel very confident in the lead up to an audit – with respondents highlighting concerns over their organisations’ information and data management processes. 

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The results of the survey of 1,709 ITDMs across seven markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Nordics, The Netherlands, and Spain) signals critical gaps within the digital make up of many businesses today – highlighting the lack of visibility and control that ITDMs have over information and document processes which is pivotal to their role. 

Marc Bory, Vice President, Digital Printing & Solutions, Marketing & Innovation at Canon Europe said: “Emerging technologies are currently reshaping what’s achievable in the hybrid workplace where information is exchanged in both digital and paper formats, accompanied by new expectations to manage. Information assumes a critical role in this context, as it can determine how well businesses can adapt and respond to these new opportunities. Yet, our research shows how anxieties related to managing and protecting data as well as a lack of productivity in document process management, hinder IT teams from harnessing the full potential of their information to increase overall business value.”

Data anxiety

Anxiety related to managing data is clearly apparent in IT leaders’ confidence levels ahead of an audit. When asked why, two consistent themes emerged: a lack of control over employee behaviour and lack of visibility of documents and data, both playing a key role.  

These concerns are not misplaced. Over one third (36%) of leaders say they suspect or are aware that employees don’t always follow compliance rules (such as GDPR), whilst, one in five ITDMs (17%) reported experiencing an accidental employee breach in the last year. This is creating a strain internally, with over half reporting IT security is taking up a significant amount of their workday.

In fact, mitigating risk – particularly concerning IT security and compliance – continues to be front of mind for IT leaders. 60% of ITDMs place security in their top three greatest challenges, with over a quarter (28%) placing it as number one.

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Lack of real digital progress

ITDMs appear confident in their digital maturity, with 78% believing their organisations are already mature in terms of digital processes – meaning that they are running processes that are digitised and automated, however the wider research paints a different picture.

–          Organisations were found to be in a similar position to 2022 levels of tracking, accessing, sharing, and deleting documents for audit purposes.

–          Automatic access rights to documents – the most common capability – are only found in 53% of organisations, meaning that full adoption of automation for information and document process management is still far off.

–          28% are still needing to manually fill out standardised organisational documents each time, with 26% of employees experiencing errors or inconsistencies caused by data silos.

–          One in 10 leaders have abandoned implementation projects over the last two years. Challenges with implementations include compatibility issues (28%), delays (27%), and ongoing faults with the new technology (21%).

While the benefits that digital can bring to a business are clear – nearly all those who have implemented automation (99%) report value far beyond compliance from working more efficiently (37%), improving employee experience (35%) and bolstering customer experience (34%) – these potential gains are not being fully realised.

Even though information management is recognised for increasing productivity, with 37% of IT leaders highlighting this as a key benefit– many ITDMs aren’t fully embracing available document management solutions. This lack of digital progress is hampering the potential of IT teams and creating a roadblock to how much value they can provide.  

 Tori Miller Liu, President and CEO of the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) says: “A digital-first world requires modern workplaces to be driven by high-quality and highly accessible information or unstructured data. However, managing an increasing volume of unstructured information in a hybrid environment is challenging for organisations. Effective information management is the answer; delivering enhanced visibility and control, greater compliance, as well as unlocking new opportunities from existing information.”

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Introducing Information Management Solutions

Using 30+ years of experience in services and solutions, Canon has developed an Information Management Solutions (IMS) offering dedicated to supporting businesses in streamlining processes and information flows across their organisation. Canon’s IMS provides organisations with the technology, services, and consultancy to assist with digitising and hyper-automating business processes.

Serving a wide range of industries including manufacturing, finance, public sector and telecoms, Canon has the depth and breadth of expertise to offer trusted, end-to-end solutions for a diverse range of information management challenges. Today, Canon has over 300 information management specialists across EMEA that assist over 2,000 European customers.

Marc Bory continues: “Organisations are increasingly looking towards IT teams to help them deliver business value through the power of technology. Whether your organisation is a bank, retailer, startup or an enterprise, the way that it captures, processes and delivers information is critical to its overall success. Canon IMS helps our customers take control of their information and document processes, to unlock new efficiencies and achieve the sustainable growth that is now expected of them.

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