South African businesses are investing in digitisation at a rapid rate – but uncertainties around security threatens to slow down progress.
This is according to Canon’s Office Insights 2017 report, which shows that 87% of South African office workers view digitisation as critical for their business.
Within three years, 34% of the average organisation’s IT budget will be ploughed into document processing software — but only 18% of respondents believe that remote working improves workforce productivity.
With the majority of South African businesses keen to invest in business and technology solutions and with cloud storage and computing cited as the most frequently mentioned areas for investment, South Africa shows encouraging signs of being committed to moving towards an increasingly advanced office of the future.
Despite this, more than half of end users (52%) in South Africa are not fully aware of their company’s corporate security policies, and security concerns are holding back development in a number of crucial business areas.
As a result, 80% of senior managers in South Africa say they are likely to upgrade their document security in the next one to two years, and 55% of respondents have already sought guidance from information security experts, or specialist colleagues, to inform their security decision making.
A quarter of respondents mention concerns around security with regards to the rollout of cloud services: 48% of South African respondents worry about losing data in the cloud and only 24% entirely agree that cloud based applications will become the norm.
According to the report, one of the results of this attitude is that that the rollout of mobile working has been slower in South Africa than in other regions across Eurasia and the Middle East. For example, 35% of respondents believe that mobile access to company systems are not important, and 44% have no plans to connect their mobile devices to the company printers at all.
The skepticism and uncertainty around the benefits of cloud and mobile solutions may hold back progress, according to the Canon Office Insights report.
James de Waal, head of marketing: professional print Ggroup at Canon SA, comments: “Understandably, many businesses are still cautious of integrating mobile and cloud technology into the office landscape.
“When done right, however, cloud technologies and mobile access can actually improve both security and productivity, allowing users to access lost data, helping to wipe machines remotely, or just enabling flexible working on-the-move.
“For businesses in South Africa, the key is to provide greater education on the benefits of cloud services, as well as supporting end-users to ensure they are getting the most out of this technology. With the advanced hardware and software security solutions available today, we are eager that no organisation is left behind due to solvable security concerns.”
The Canon Office Insights 2017 research interviewed 2550 office workers, including decision-makers, managers and end-users, across 24 countries in Europe, Eurasia, Africa and Middle-East.