By Mark Davison at Ricoh’s Freedom to Operate Press Tour, London – Japanese IT giant Ricoh may be considered by many to be primarily a printer company, but it is rapidly gearing itself for the business shift towards trends such as cloud computing, big data, mobility and allied services.

Chas Moloney, MD of Marketing at Ricoh UK, says there are five megatrends in the industry today which are driving the way organisations will have to conduct their business in the future. Many of today’s multinationals list big data, mobility and security as the three key trends in the market, but Moloney adds two more to this list: social media and cloud computing.

He says these five global megatrends are forcing IT companies to re-evaluate how they go about their day-to-day business and how they are going to conduct this business tomorrow.

“More people today have mobile phones than toothbrushes,” Moloney says. “And by next year there will be more mobile subscriptions than there are people on the planet. There are expectations that you will be able to do your job instantly, and you will be expected to be responsive right away.”

While recognising the role of big data, security and mobility in driving the future of IT, Moloney says that trends such as social media cannot be discounted.

“It’s about a new way of working,” he explains. “According to research 18- to 24-year-olds send, on average, 4 000 texts per month. The same research reveals that they only spend 17 minutes on their actual phones – and half of this time is spend on retrieving voicemails.

“So the workforce of the future is behaving differently,” he adds. “And they are going to behave even more differently going forward.”

Other key research, Moloney says, states that information workers will typically lose 7,4 hours every week trying to find information or the right document at the right time, in the right place and at the right moment.

He adds that Ricoh, having recognised these megatrends and the affects they are having, is looking to offer its customers not just new products, but also a host of services which will enable their customers to transition more easily.

And these solutions will span not only Ricoh’s more traditional business such as printers and document management, but also include services based on cloud computing, more mobility in collaboration with partners and enhanced security.