Survey finds 9 in 10 Australian SMEs want funded cybersecurity support
More than 94% of Australians believe supporting SMEs will help the country’s economic prosperity and would like them to be prioritized in next week’s federal budget, according to a new survey from the business management platform. MYOB company.
Productivity was a clear theme among the top five measures that small business respondents would most like to see in this budget. They include tax reforms (49%), incentives for learning and vocational training (42%), financial incentives for hiring staff (39%), reducing red tape (37%) and incentives for digital training (31%).
According to Helen Lea, director of employee experience at MYOB, the data shows that Australians believe in the role that SMEs will play in the country’s economic recovery.
“Fifty-seven percent of respondents don’t think the economy is still recovering and 63% see productivity as a real issue for Australian businesses.”
“SMEs make up over 90% of Australian businesses, so it will be vital to the economic recovery to ensure they perform optimally, particularly in the face of inflation, supply chain disruptions and climate change. cost of living pressures,” Lea said.
When asked what could help with productivity in particular, the main help SME owners would like to see is support for skills upgrading (55%), free higher education for in-demand professions (53%) and increased opportunities to help women retrain. enter the labor market after having children (48%).
The data also revealed labor shortages and employees taking sick leave are also hampering SME productivity, with 43% of small businesses currently experiencing a staff shortage.
For SMBs, accessibility for wider digital adoption is key, 40% of SMBs surveyed said difficulties accessing a stable internet connection prevented them from using digital tools.
“Cybersecurity awareness is particularly acute among all of us at the moment, and this is reflected in the responses of our SMEs.”
“Two in three small business owners think they need to spend more to protect their business.” Lea explained herself in more detail.
“Among those who don’t plan to spend more, 38% say it’s the cost of protecting cybersecurity that keeps them from investing,” Lea added.
MYOB researchers have suggested training the workforce and the confident and decisive use of digital business tools is at the heart of increasing productivity and growing the economy.
“Next week’s budget is an opportunity for the government to strengthen its commitment to small businesses, giving them confidence to contribute to our economic recovery,” Lea noted.
Legislating on boosting technology investment and boosting skills and training, and extending both measures until EOFY 2024, would give SMEs the certainty to make the necessary investments to protect their business and adopt more digital tools.
MYOB modeling shows that every dollar invested will generate a return of $25 for the economy, which includes productivity gains and employment.
“Digital capabilities are closely linked to productivity, helping SMBs save time, money and improve the accuracy of their business operations.”
“Digital tools can help business owners gain holistic visibility into their business and maximize productivity, helping to alleviate many of the pressures we are currently seeing, from labor shortages to ‘work or other operational challenges’, said Lea.
“We know that the economy is ready to benefit from these measures and we are eager to know what the new government will offer to SMEs in the country.”
[Related: Germany’s cyber security chief sacked due to ‘Russia ties’]