INSIGHT

For SMEs, it’s all about connectivity

Get speed, security, and more from connectivity

Why collaboration and reliable, fast connectivity are the first steps to digital transformation.

In a world dominated by an on-demand, click-of-a-button culture, businesses face huge challenges.

Often employees are just as demanding as customers, and in order to retain the best talent, firms need secure solutions to enable flexible hours and remote working, as well as to meet clients’ expectations.

In its recent white paper, The Road to the Digital Future of SMEs research firm IDC concluded that enabling collaboration was essential in order for businesses to fully embrace the digital future and meet expectations. The report says, “From Voice-over-IP (VoIP) to accessing the cloud, the benefits of flexible working, improving digital marketing and enhancing customer experience mean the reliable, high internet connection speed is a necessity for the future.”

Making a connection

Ultrafast, secure internet  opens up the vast opportunities presented by the cloud, which makes it all the more surprising that IDC found 45% of SMEs view IT as a necessary cost, compared with just 20% who see it as a driver of competitive advantage.

The white paper says, “More than 30% of very small businesses see internet connectivity as an inhibitor, which rises to 39% of companies with a service offering of less than 30Mbps. This means that by investing in internet connectivity they can improve the foundation of their company; customer experience, security and employee experience all improve with good connectivity.”

Competitive advantage

IDC surveyed 300 SMEs for the white paper, which also found a majority of 51% reported their biggest challenge was acquiring new customers. However, many SMEs felt their ability to provide excellent customer service could set them apart from larger rivals.

The white paper states, “IDC believes that UK SMEs can strengthen their advantage by investing in technologies to support their digital future. It will be all about an ‘experience economy’ in which enterprises seek closer understanding of their customers by leveraging IT solutions featuring mobility, cloud, Big Data/analytics and social technologies.”

All change

A change of attitude is required if all SMEs are to benefit from digital transformation as much as they should. IDC found that “SMEs in the UK still look at cost savings first when reviewing ICT investments, not future proofing their organisation for digital change…These attitudes outlined above mean that the bulk of SMEs will continue to lag behind in their digital transformation, and companies that understand the value of moving beyond maintenance towards investing in ICT will move ahead.

“They will be able to be more responsive to market trends with increased productivity, offer a better customer experience, build on their already formed relationships and build new ones.”

Speed, security and scalability

The importance of great connectivity to SMEs cannot be overstated. To fully benefit from what they have to offer, IDC recommends the services of a trusted service provider to help on the road of digital transformation.

The white paper says, “Connectivity is crucial in a world where SMEs operate in a 24x7 and potentially global marketplace. As the importance of digital technology grows, the more critical the role of the network and connectivity becomes. Speed, security and scalability will be essential to cope with growing business requirements and enable SMEs to stay nimble, flexible and close to the customer and market.

Connectivity will underpin everything in a cloud-centric world. SMEs should look for a partner that can help them take their business to the next level in the digital future.”

Ready for more?

Looking for more information about Cloud and it’s benefits? Check out our handy guide to the cloud here.

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