Lenovo reveals key IT trends impacting SMBs
Research shows only 30 per cent of Australian SMBs have a BYOD policy and there is uncertainty around cloud
Sydney, Australia – 12 September, 2013 -Lenovo today announced the findings of new research revealing the pain points of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the uptake and penetration of technology within this sector. The study revealed that SMBs are turning to technology and beginning to embrace trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), mobility and cloud computing in order to alleviate some of these pain points and boost business performance.
The research, commissioned by Lenovo and conducted by AMI Partners, provided a snapshot into the everyday pain points of SMBs and revealed the areas of business they are struggling with the most. The report found that the number one challenge affecting more than half of SMBs surveyed (58 per cent) is how to increase and grow sales. This was closely followed by improving productivity, cost reduction and efficiencies (56 percent) and having access to capital, loans and financing (54 per cent). From a talent and culture perspective, 54 per cent of SMBs 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 SMBs. 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 SMBs allow employees to buy their own devices to bring to the office and are reimbursing for their usage for business.
Further, when asked about mobility, SMBs 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;
- using remotely managed IT services and support to satisfy the requirement and greater usage of IP-based applications
Additionally, Australian SMBs believe there is an education gap between how the market views cloud computing and how it is used in reality amongst SMBs. There is a significant proportion of SMBs that do not know what cloud computing is or how it can be used to alleviate a number of business pain points, particularly regarding productivity and business efficiencies.
“The research we’ve conducted demonstrates that SMBs are struggling with a number of business headaches. There is a huge opportunity for SMBs to use technology such as cloud computing, BYOD and mobility to accelerate business performance and eradicate some efficiency problems,” said Matt Codrington, Managing Director, Lenovo, Australia and New Zealand. “While SMBs 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 SMBs to run their businesses more efficiently using these technologies.”
Further, the report discovered that increasingly, SMBs are largely influenced by the internet when making a purchasing decision; 31 per cent will go directly to a vendor’s website, 27 per cent revert to social media, 24 per cent go to a comparative forum, and 18 per cent are influenced by blogs. Additional to online, 33 per cent of SMBs are still mainly influenced by mass media and equally, 33 per cent are influenced by their peers who provide recommendations including family and friends (33 per cent), internal IT staff (26 per cent), industry peers (24 per cent) and business partners (18 per cent).
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About the Research Study
Lenovo and its research partner, AMI-Partners has recently conducted a research study within SMBs in Australia and New Zealand in multiple cities through a mix of qualitative and quantitative interviews. The study focused on technology adoption within SMBs and covered areas like demographic details, Business Challenges & Attitudes, Computing Usage, decision Making & Media Usage as well as future technology adoption considerations. Specifically, the study provided various levels of in-depth details about desktops, notebooks and tablet adoption among SMBs within Australia and New Zealand including purchase dynamics & stakeholders, media habits, brand selection criteria, brand perceptions, channel selection, BYOD practices, etc. AMI also interviewed a cross-section of Business Partners who provided their views on the SMB computing market and the vendors therein. As a part of the study, AMI also incorporated a Segmentation-research based on attitude and business orientation that segregated the SMB end-users into different groups based on their technology-adoption propensity.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a $US30 billion personal technology company – and one of the top two PC makers globally, serving customers in more than 160 countries. Dedicated to building exceptionally engineered PCs and mobile internet devices, Lenovo’s business is built on product innovation, a highly efficient global supply chain and strong strategic execution. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the IBM Personal Computing Division, the Company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services. Its product lines include legendary Think-branded commercial PCs and Idea-branded consumer PCs, as well as servers, workstations, and a family of mobile internet devices, including tablets and smart phones. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information, see www.lenovo.com/en/au.
About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.
AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence—with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises and extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and go-to-market solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.
AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last ten years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets, its annual Retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries, and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.