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Mid-market days could be numbered

Simon Quicke

The current focus on the mid market by vendors and resellers alike could change fundamentally as that sector of the market fragments over the next few years.

According to research carried out for Ricoh Europe by the Economist Intelligence Unit those running businesses are braced for fairly major changes over the next eight years.

Among the list is the expectation that the mid-size company will become less common as micro-entrepreneurs start to spread.

"Technology advances will support a rise in micro-entrepreneurs in the decade ahead, and will enable these tiny businesses to act like far larger ones. This has direct implications for mid-size companies, which will increasingly need to choose whether to become larger to compete on scale, or smaller to compete on speed. Many will face this decision in the years ahead," stated the report.


Some of the other predictions, which could have an impact on the channel, is the emergence of big data as a business of its own. Those that can provide analytics could find themselves in an emerging vertical.

There is also an expectation that consumerisation will be felt in the office space with a lot more automation removing the need for the traditional office to remain.

"Just as banking transactions are now largely automated, with bank branches becoming more
consultative spaces, so too will many other customer-facing physical premises. For knowledge workers, meanwhile, a hybrid working pattern will deepen, with more working from home, while offices instead evolve into spaces for networking and meeting," the report stated.

Carsten Bruhn, executive vice president, Ricoh Europe, said that technologies alone would not help users keep up with the changes that were coming.

"It's the business processes behind the technology that must be reviewed and optimised to add real business value.  At the heart of this change is ensuring the processes connect people with information, enable greater collaboration and encourage knowledge sharing," he said.

"Business leaders need to choose partners that will help them to implement the changes effectively over time.  It is no longer viable to implement new technologies for short term efficiencies," he added.
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