Improving agility is a top priority for European SMB leaders seeking to take advantage of a digitally empowered workplace. According to a new study commissioned by Ricoh Europe, the majority (86 per cent) of the 1,608 SMB leaders surveyed say they are actively focusing on improving business agility in 2018.
Half of the respondents (51 per cent) are specifically introducing new technology to respond faster to trends and opportunities, while 52 per cent say that without the benefits of updated workplace technology they will fail within five years.
SMB decision makers clearly prioritise technology that directly addresses core employee needs. They believe automation (72 per cent), data analytics (64 per cent), document management (62 per cent) and video conferencing (56 per cent) will have the most positive impact on their business.
Javier Diez-Aguirre, vice president corporate marketing, Ricoh Europe says, ‘The European SMB community is hugely ambitious. As a result of challenging market conditions, business leaders are rightly eager to identify new opportunities early and reap the maximum reward. They know that remaining agile is crucial in order to capitalise on market changes and value the role technology plays in this. It’s clear that agility is high up on the SMB agenda and business leaders do not see the issue as being exclusive to larger competitors.’
The productivity and innovation benefits of smarter workplace technology is considered a critical factor for business success. Seventy per cent of those questioned put technology at the heart of their organisation’s capacity to thrive, indicating a strong belief in the value of a digitally empowered workplace.
Diez-Aguirre adds, ‘SMB leaders aren’t fooled by the hype around technologies such as virtual reality and blockchain. Instead, they wisely choose to prioritise investment in the tools that will have a real, positive impact on the bottom-line. Those that haven’t already must carefully consider how technology can enable their employees to work faster and smarter, thus making their business more agile. If not, they could soon find that they’re the ones facing extinction as the market moves on without them.’