There is a joke circulating on social media that the biggest catalyst to digital transformation around the world isn’t CEOs or CIOs, but coronavirus. While that may be exaggerating things slightly, there is no denying that the last couple of months have, at the very least, acted as a catalyst to more remote and mobile working, and brought pressure for IT departments to recreate modern working environments for users everywhere.
In this era of unprecedented challenge to small business, it’s more vital than ever to be able to focus your time and resources on winning customers, generating revenue and growing your business.
The trends in small business – what’s changing?
Pre-COVID, there was evidence that digitisation was driving business change, but that small businesses were embracing it pragmatically. Whether to adopt cloud apps and storage, and which solutions to choose were also a hot topic, and security was as vital an issue as ever.
In a recent survey of small businesses conducted by Cisco, 61% of small businesses admitted to having experienced some for of cyber attack in the last year. Of those attacks, 70% were cited as having originated from endpoint devices as a vulnerable entry point into a business network.
Another interesting consideration for small business is the adoption of and demand for new applications by users. It is estimated that this demand will force 55% of businesses to upgrade or deploy new data centres or cloud storage in the immediate future, and therefore creating yet another pressure on IT budget and resource.
Creating a modern workplace everywhere
While trends had been moving prior to 2020, there is no doubt that the current crisis has exacerbated the need for small businesses to shift working practice and lean more heavily on IT to quickly spin up professional, business-ready home office environments. It’s really sped up the mantra that the modern workplace is everywhere.
In addition to the obvious benefit of facilitating user productivity when working from home or remotely, deepening digitisation of the workplace can bring increased revenue and profitability through operational efficiency, better and more efficient customer interactions and business agility.
To this end, a broader adoption of cloud applications can enable flexible business expansion as required for example by new customer acquisition. It can also assist with mobility, and provision of bring your own device (BYOD) programmes.
What’s the impact on IT?
With business needing to respond, challenge and grow in the current climate, Cisco also asked IT professionals in small businesses what is keeping them up most at night. The answers included the risk of data breaches, the need to procure and roll out new devices, security risks, compliance headaches, and the need to provision for bandwidth-hungry video – among other challenges.
In this series of forthcoming blogs, we’ll be looking at how the modern workplace is increasingly everywhere, and how technology can help to grow your business. We’ll also offer some practical advice and resources on how to address some of the key IT challenges facing small businesses.
Find out more
Keep checking back to our website and social media over the coming weeks as we discuss different ways of facilitating modern working practices for small businesses. We also have a live webinar on Friday 5th June at 10am BST, in which we’ll provide expert guidance on the latest innovations across all the core areas of IT: networking, security, collaboration and compute.