FutureScope: GDPR, the future of work and much more

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Last week, Ireland’s entrepreneurial community and innovative multinationals gathered in the Dublin Convention Centre to discuss the evolving trends that are shaping our future world. Hosted by Dublin BIC, FutureScope brought together thought leaders and innovators from the tech ecosystem to share their insights and ideas, with the aim of igniting collaboration opportunities with others.

The trends and discussions that stood out the most to me were around GDPR, smart cities, and the future of work.


What was most interesting about this panel discussion was that it wasn’t intended to be solely about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Called ‘Connect the Dots’, the panel was supposed to be a collaborative discussion on AI, data analytics and security. But very quickly, it became clear that the next 45 minutes was going to be a discussion on how ready everyone in the room felt their business was for GDPR and how the legislation will affect multinationals with offices and headquarters in the EU. The clear message was that even if they aren’t based in the EU, firms will nevertheless need to prepare for GDPR.

Is your firm ready for the GDPR? To find out more, click here.

Smart Cities

The Industry 4.0 panel discussed how Ireland’s geography, commerce, technology, and education qualify it as the ideal European country to encompass the smart city vision. Coined by the FutureScope panel, SmartIreland will be the country-wide collaboration of Ireland’s major smart cities. Achieving that requires IoT deployment, smart procurement and infrastructure, along with an understanding of socio-political landscapes. But while it may be up to local governments and contracted companies to implement changes, they can only do so much to determine the success of Ireland’s smart cities. The panel discussed how business owners must adopt and embrace cutting-edge technologies now in order to be prepared for the advancements of tomorrow.

The Future of Work

Futureproof versus future-ready was the hot debate in the panel discussion around the future of work and millennials in the workplace. Right now, millennials account for 50% of the workforce – but they are also significantly contributing to high attrition rates. On average, Irish millennials spend just eight months in a job before moving on to the next one. Millennials are not difficult, the audience was told; they just have higher expectations. If companies want to hold onto their millennials, they must ensure they are ready and able to engage with them from the moment they walk in the door. One of the ways in which companies can ensure they do that is by integrating the right technology and communication channels into the day-to-day running of a business.

Our own research at Ricoh has shown that businesses are coming under increasing pressure from employees to invest in new technologies that allow their workforce to be more flexible and adopt individual workstyles. We found that some 76% of Irish businesses are under pressure from employees to embrace new technologies that enable more mobile workstyles. However, 46% of businesses admit that they don’t have the correct IT tools or processes to facilitate different generational workstyles.

At Ricoh, we are answering changing generational requirements with a range of products and services that enable people to work more fluidly and collaboratively. Our production printing, communication and managed document services use technology to reduce time-heavy administrative tasks and allow businesses and their employees to work more effectively – whether they are in the office or on-the-go. It is that kind of flexibility that millennials are looking for and businesses must to what they can to make it happen.

Ricoh Transform is no longer active. You can keep up to date with the latest thinking from Ricoh Ireland on our new blog, Ricoh Insights.

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