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Canon unveils regional findings of Middle Eastern office insights

Research report presented at GITEX Technology Week 2018 reveals that Middle Eastern businesses lead the EMEA region in digitally transforming the office environment

Canon Middle East has today announced the findings of its Office Insights 2018 research, which reveals that Middle Eastern businesses are rapidly investing in cloud and mobile solutions at a rate far surpassing other EMEA markets. With a focus on the evolution of the digital workplace and addressing the business challenges identified in the research report, the leader in imaging solutions will be demonstrating its innovative solutions and services, designed to drive digital transformation success, at GITEX Technology Week 2018.

Key Findings:

. 83% of Middle Eastern respondents voted cloud-based document access as important or critical

. 67% are already using cloud solutions on a daily basis

. 93% of Middle Eastern respondents use an Enterprise Resource Planning system to efficiently manage information flow across different departments or sites

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Rapid innovation is changing the nature of offices beyond its conventional boundaries, as knowledge workers can be productive anywhere, thanks to mobile, cloud, faster network access, and a growing number of online collaboration tools. The digital workplace of tomorrow is certainly beginning to take shape in the Middle East where a third of people in senior management positions have shifted from seeing little to no value in cloud and mobile services two years ago to embracing the technology today.

With over 50% of Middle Eastern businesses believing that the cloud gives them an edge over their competitors and over 50% believing that it improves workforce productivity, it is no surprise that cloud technology is a key driver of technological advancement in the region. The opportunity for cloud-based technology is far from shrinking, as 83% of Middle Eastern respondents consider cloud-based document access important or critical to business success, compared to 67% in the larger EMEA region. Around 67% are already using cloud-based solutions in the Middle East, double the EMEA region average of 34%.

The Middle Eastern region has also demonstrated a strong support for mobile working, with 60% of respondents citing the positive impact it has had on their businesses and 51% of IT departments in the region providing support to employees’ personal devices. Respondents also believe that social media makes the workplace more collaborative, that remote working makes people more productive, and that personal devices should be brought into work. This attitude has meant that the adoption of cloud and mobile services has been faster in the Middle East than in other regions across Africa and Eurasia, with strong and impressive results.

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On cloud-based document management and automation, 85% of Middle East respondents consider it critical or important to convert paper documents to editable, digital ones, recognizing that an organization can only harness the full potential of digital by integrating it into every facet of the enterprise. While no enterprises in the Middle East have entirely stopped using transactional hard copies, 34% are focused on halting their use in the next 12 months. A longer timeframe for phasing out hard copies is planned among 39% of businesses in the region, who look to achieve this goal in the coming 2-3 years, and 16% in the next 4-5 years. The vast majority of ME respondents agree that more automation is inevitable, clearly outlining that this is the direction that the majority of workplaces are headed. From the Middle East, 93% of respondents already use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems or similar, designed to efficiently manage information flow across different departments or sites.

Despite the fact that 57% of respondents worry about losing data in the cloud, this does not seem to deter the uptake of cloud solutions. The Middle East region is the most likely to be enhancing document security in the next 1-2 years (46%) whereas the average in EMEA is only 25%. This concern is translating into real-world action, with 55% in the Middle East consulting with external specialists to help them with document management solutions.

Ayman Aly, Senior Marketing Manager, Canon Middle East said: “It is very encouraging to see how aware our region is of the benefits of cloud and how best to implement it, making the most of upfront investments. When done right, cloud technologies and mobile access can actually improve both security and productivity, allowing users to access lost data, help to wipe machines remotely, and enable flexible working on-the-move. Understandably, many businesses are still cautious about integrating mobile and cloud technology into the office landscape. Our aim is to continue providing support and education to our customers and business partners in the Middle East, to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential, no matter the size or nature of their industry.”

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At GITEX Technology Week 2018, Canon is demonstrating the future workplace through three experience zones highlighting the customer benefits of digital transformation in security, automation, print, mobile, and cloud. Recognizing that wider and better use of social networks, data analytics, and smart technologies are having monumental effects on productivity and expectations, Canon focuses on unlocking additional opportunities for businesses through the creation of secure spaces conducive to collaboration.

“The office of the future is marked by digitization, automation, and optimization, propelling innovation across the entire organization. Canon is committed to working with our clients on their digital transformation journey to update key processes and seize opportunities for automated efficiency while maintaining and improving digital workflows,” continued Bakhour.

The Canon Office Insights 2018 research interviewed 2,550 office workers, including decision-makers, managers and end-users, across 24 countries in Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East.