Singapore – Support for employees working remotely has been rated as the top strategy for SMEs across APAC in regards to their growth and success, new statistics from technology company Cisco shows.
According to the research, 41% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Asia Pacific (APAC) rated it as important as online sales platforms for success and growth. With the shift to a hybrid work environment here to stay, SMEs in the region are expected to continue to invest in technology solutions that support this trend.
As a result of the business disruptions caused by the pandemic in the past year, using technology to reduce cost is the top business goal for one in five (18%) SMEs across APAC in the next 12 months. This is especially prevalent in mature APAC markets such as Australia, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, where more than one-quarter (26%) of those surveyed selected it as their top goal compared to 17% in emerging markets India, China, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Finding alternative channels to sell and deliver products is a challenge that half (50%) of SMEs in APAC are currently facing, followed by improving employee productivity (44%) and boosting revenue (40%). Such conflicts are manifested by SMEs who are seemed overwhelmed by the global pandemic.
Furthermore, improving employee productivity (44%) is the second-largest business challenge that SMEs in APAC are facing. In mature APAC markets, employee engagement (42%) is the top priority for digitization efforts across SMEs.
For Bidhan Roy, managing director and head of commercial and small business for Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan, and Greater China, the study reveals that the pattern of SME revamps in their remote work support has not only been evident in APAC, but also globally.
“In the current climate, where online is a major consumption channel and dispersed workforces are the norm, our research also finds security and privacy among the chief considerations for SMEs when selecting technology solutions. It is crucial for SMEs, who may have limited resources, to work with technology partners that can help them identify secure, reliable, and value-for-money technology solutions that best fit their needs, as well as provide ongoing, one-stop, and customized support throughout the lifetime of the products and their digital transformation journey,” Roy said.
The findings are based on a survey by Analysys Mason of senior business and IT leaders at 1,600 SMEs with 50 to 150 employees, based in eight markets across APAC.