Q&A 20 01732 759725 60 seconds with... Rob Rodger, Director, Managed Services, Digital Services, Ricoh What do you see as the key developments in IT this year? AI, machine learning, and business process automation will be major areas of investment in the coming year. Automating repetitive and timeconsuming tasks is cost-effective and has a significant impact on efficiency – faster response times, better customer service, and improved productivity. What is going to have the greatest impact on the IT sector in 2023? The fragility of supply chains has been exposed over the past couple of years, equally, rising operating costs have caused many businesses to tighten their purse strings and reassess their investment priorities. It’s not all doom and gloom. The sector is going to experience strong demand for services, particularly in areas such as automation, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. What should IT managers do differently this year? Managers will need to find ways to economise and still deliver quality services. This will require a bigger shift to automation and a focus on investing in tools that facilitate this, freeing up time for their teams to Rob Rodger focus on more strategic initiatives. What are your IT predications for the year? A continual review of integrated workplace strategies. The day-to-day working structure of business has changed so much over the past few years – it’s a tricky one to predict – but it will be interesting to see the new needs required. How does Ricoh differ as an MSP in the UK? What are your USPs? We put our people at the heart of our business, and at the most basic level, keep our promises to provide reliable solutions and services, on time and on budget. As a Digital Services provider, our customers appreciate the true scale and breadth of the Ricoh portfolio, differentiating us in a way that few other global companies can. What currently is having the greatest impact on your business? Like all businesses, we’re not immune to the current challenge of increased operating costs. Our people are our most valuable assets, so we want to ensure that these stresses do not impact them too heavily and have put initiatives in place to help. Where do you see the next big opportunity? Digital Maturity describes an organisation’s ability to respond and adapt to technological trends and represents a real opportunity for businesses to gain a competitive edge. To help business understand their current capabilities and where improvements can be made, we’ve built a free digital services maturity indicator tool, click here or check our website. What’s the best bit of business advice that you’ve ever been given? Always be honest and transparent – never over-promise and under-deliver! Discover more about Digital Services If you had a crystal ball, would you have done anything differently in your life? I wouldn’t have done anything differently except maybe, support a different football team – life’s never easy as a Spurs fan. Describe your most embarrassing moment. There are too many vying for the top slot here! What was your first job? I landed my first job as an accounts clerk at a duty-free company. It was eye-opening the vast array of discounts which helped ensure I always smelt good. What would your dream job be? I am extremely happy with the job I currently have and would not change it unless Spurs came knocking on my door. Then I may have to reconsider. Favourite holiday destination? The Scottish Highlands, with some family roots there it always feels like home. With the views it brings, I always find it the best place for me to visit and unwind. How do you like to spend your spare time? I love going out and spending quality time with my family but when not with them I do enjoy watching various sports and indulging in my musical streak.