The Australian Digital Workplace Study 2021, commissioned by nbn and conducted by technology analyst firm Telsyte , highlights the top technology investments that are helping SMEs adopt technologies more strategically.
The research reveals that conferencing technology has provided the greatest financial impact among SMEs to date, with 81 per cent of those surveyed saying it had a positive impact in helping to meet financial KPIs. This was closely followed by cloud (76 per cent), data management (70 per cent), employee devices (66 per cent), and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) at 60 per cent.
When it came to assessing the impact of technologies on non-financial KPIs, video conferencing is still considered the best performer by the majority (75 per cent), followed jointly by cybersecurity and workplace modernisation (69 per cent each), then employee devices (68 per cent) and IT outsourcing (67 per cent).
The study also revealed that 38 per cent of SMEs didn’t think they were adopting technology strategically, while only 44 per cent said that have a digital strategy.
“The small-medium business community understand the importance of digital technologies, however, our survey found that less than half have a digital strategy,” Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director at Telsyte, said. “It highlights an opportunity to provide businesses with visibility around technology investments that had substantial financial and non-financial impact for small and medium businesses to help them adopt technology more strategically.”
Brendan Donohoe, Executive General Manager of Business at NBN Co, acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on SMEs, pointing out that technology and connectivity were the lifelines that kept them operating.
“One in three business owners surveyed said their business might not have survived without the nbn network,” Donohoe said. “The majority of SMEs with a digital transformation strategy had those plans fast-tracked by COVID-19 but, based on the data, a lot of technology adoption has been opportunistic rather than strategic. That means small businesses may not be maximising the value of their technology investments.
“Our small and medium business community is the backbone of the Australian economy so it’s vital we find ways to help these businesses lift their digital capability and make informed, strategic decisions when it comes to their technology investments,” Donohoe added.