Lenovo research reveals key IT trends impacting SMEs

New research by personal technology company Lonovo has revealed that only 30 per cent of Australian and New Zealand SME business owners have a BYOD policy, and that uncertainty still exists regarding the benefits of the cloud.

New research by personal technology company Lonovo has revealed that only 30 per cent of Australian and New Zealand SME business owners have a BYOD policy, and that uncertainty still exists regarding the benefits of the cloud.

The research, commissioned by Lenovo and conducted by AMI Partners, provides a snapshot into the everyday pain points of SMEs and reveals the areas of business they are struggling with the most. It found that the number one challenge affecting more than half of SMEs surveyed (58 per cent) is how to increase and grow sales. This was closely followed by improving productivity, cost reduction and efficiencies (56 per cent) and having access to capital, loans and financing (54 per cent). From a talent and culture perspective, 54 per cent of SMEs grapple with improving employee productivity, while 51 per cent struggle with hiring and retaining a desired quality of staff. 

According to the research, the concept of BYOD is becoming more pervasive amongst SMEs. More than half of respondents (53 per cent) have already instituted an IT buying policy for tablets and notebooks when buying them for employee use. Additionally, 30 per cent of SMEs allow employees to buy their own devices to bring to the office and are reimbursing for their usage for business. 

When asked about mobility, SMEs feel that the introduction of tablets has increased the need for access and security of a business’ data. Amongst SMBs, tablets are viewed as an alternative to buying a new notebook or ultrabook and have fostered an after-market for keyboards and other add-on devices. Scalability, specific business focus, brand and cost are all top of mind issues when deploying tablets within a small business, and cloud technologies present a unique opportunity to address these concerns. 

Currently SMBs are in a testing phase with cloud computing and users tend to integrate cloud solutions with on-premise ones or are deciding on a case-by-case basis. SMBs tend to be using the cloud for basic functions such as storage, however there is a growing appetite for more sophisticated solutions such as employee collaboration via IT; the automation of various business applications; and using remotely managed IT services and support to satisfy the requirement and greater usage of IP-based applications. 

“The research demonstrates that SMEs are struggling with a number of business headaches,” said Matt Codrington, Managing Director, Lenovo, Australia and New Zealand. “There is a huge opportunity for SMEs to use technology such as cloud computing, BYOD and mobility to accelerate business performance and eradicate some efficiency problems. 

“While SMEs manage the business, the potential of technology sits a little on their periphery. They just don’t have the time to consider solutions such as convertible devices or cloud computing that can help them manage costs and grow. There is a huge opportunity for SMEs to run their businesses more efficiently using these technologies.”

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