Friday, 24 July 2020 11:56

SMBs held back by technology changes, Optus report reveals Featured


Many Australian businesses are struggling to keep pace with technology changes critical to their business success, despite over 40% of SMBs believing that adopting smart technology to improve business efficiency will have the biggest impact on their business in the next three years, according to newly released research from Optus.

The Optus and Venture Insights Connectivity Report 2020 found that as businesses across Australia continue to embrace remote working and run their enterprises from home, the importance of reliable connectivity and technology to business agility has never been more important.

The Optus and Venture Insights report Connectivity Report surveyed the “big business drivers” of the economy - SMBs - and found that many are failing to grasp the opportunities offered by new technologies (39%) and over a third (40%) admitted they are not actively protecting their business from cyber-attacks.

Optus and Venture Insights say the survey also showed that Australian SMBs are so reliant on fast and dependable connectivity, that over one third (36%) believe advances in broadband and mobile services such as 5G will have a big impact on their business – and almost half (47%) identified having faster download and upload speeds would benefit their business.

Optus Managing Director of SMB, Libby Roy, said with over 2 million Australian SMBs, the research clearly shows that “business connectivity is critical to drive economic resilience and prosperity”.

“Poor connectivity can leave businesses in a digital hole. By adopting the latest digital and connectivity tools available today, SMBs can be better equipped to make their business more productive and successful. The power of 5G is also an untapped opportunity for many SMBs to have digital at their core transforming the way they work and operate,” Roy said.

On connectivity and 5G the report also revealed that improvements in network speeds and performance will be important in helping businesses increase their efficiency and productivity, with many companies looking to 5G to unlock opportunities.

And 62% of SMBs surveyed said the arrival of the 5G network will be important for their business and 75% said they would consider upgrading to 5G when it is available to them - and when it comes to their network performance, 83% said speed was their top priority, ahead of data allowance or price.

Nigel Pugh, Managing Director at Venture Insights, said: “Connectivity is more important than ever for businesses, whether it is for sustaining business operations remotely, connecting with customers anywhere, or efficient remote monitoring of assets and inventory.

“With SMBs as the engine room of the Aussie economy, their continued success and digitisation are critical for the nation.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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