SMBs must adapt and evolve to survive, according to latest Microsoft research

1. Digital Security

Digital security has become a central issue as hackers step up their efforts and hybrid working means more and more people are using their own devices for personal and professional activities.

According to our report, 65% of Australian SMEs experienced a cybersecurity incident in 2021 alone. The Australian Cyber ​​Security Center also received over 67,500 cybercrime reports in the year to mid-2021, which was a record number.

As we explain in the report, digital security solutions can protect your apps, devices, data and people, wherever they work. Cloud-based solutions are easier to manage than traditional on-premises security solutions and offer streamlined provisioning for new devices, automated updates, and clear performance monitoring and reporting.

2. Talent

Attracting and retaining the right talent is another top priority for businesses today.

The March 2022 Microsoft Work Trend Index survey found that 48% of Australian SME employees were somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing employers in 2022 and some 1.3 million Australians changed jobs in the last 12 months (March 2021 – March 2022).

Our report also shows that 70% of digitally enabled SMBs will operate under a hybrid working model and remote working will become the norm.

SMBs need to empower their talent with the best tools and technologies for traditional and remote work. They also need to invest to ensure their current workforce has the digital skills they need to improve their job satisfaction and address the talent shortage.

At the same time, companies can use cloud technologies and no-code and low-code technologies to help fill resource gaps. These tools put programming capabilities at the fingertips of users, without requiring them to have any knowledge of the programming language.

3. Growth and innovation

SMBs must attract and retain new customers by rapidly scaling to meet demand and adopting new business models. Nearly 70% of SMBs say business growth and profit margins are their top business goals right now.

Australian fintech player Shift has digitally transformed its business to enable the provision of on-demand finance to customers and rapidly scale its operations. The company now operates entirely in the cloud using Microsoft Azure and has seen huge improvements in speed, reliability and accuracy in data analysis.

Cloud tools can help your business identify, track, convert and measure customers throughout their journey, while virtual servers make it easy to increase bandwidth and compute capacity. It’s important that your technology investments enable your business to onboard more customers and respond effectively to their needs.

4. Commercial efficiency

Our report highlights that more than 78% of executives think their organization is unnecessarily complex. There are many ways for an SME to improve its efficiency, from improving internal communication to reducing double manipulation in business processes.

Australian tech startup loadin.com is one of many SMEs that have unlocked business efficiency to transform the way music festivals are run. Built in the cloud on Microsoft Azure, the platform allows organizers to manage all information in one place, identify missing documents, and enable automation and live update features.

Digital technology is the key to the simplification and efficiency of business processes. Organizations that implemented Azure tools and resources, for example, saw their IT teams become 55% more efficient and their developers 26% more productive.

Accelerate your digital journey

Digital transformation requires careful planning, a deep understanding of your business, and a willingness to try new things. Our advice is to start small, focus on creating value, make simplification a core principle, and embark on the journey.

Over the next few years, companies like yours will be in the cloud and discovering possibilities that were once only available to larger enterprises. The question isn’t whether you should go digital, it’s how fast you can accelerate.

Download the report to learn more.

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