Australian SMBs lose up to 35 working days a year – around five hours a week – to unproductive time, according to Microsoft Lumia.
This finding was a result of an independent research conducted on behalf of Microsoft Lumia.
The study, which surveyed 400 Australian SMBs from a variety of sectors, indicated that unproductive time, being able to harness technology, and remaining secure in a mobile world are the top challenges for respondents in the next 12 months.
The key findings highlighted that 27 per cent of the respondents want to cut down on day to day administration, 42 per cent of SMBs have concerns about the security of their company data, and 46 per cent said they believe they can increase collaboration and innovation in their business. In addition, 39 per cent of them highlighted that technology is the key for doing so.
Microsoft A/NZ mobile devices director, Steve Lewis, said the findings show Australian SMBs are looking for ways to maximise their time and innovate in the new world of work. He also pointed out the importance of technology in growing business and reclaiming unproductive time.
“It’s a very important time for small businesses in Australia. But it’s not enough to just identify the problems affecting SMBs, we need to work together to find solutions that overcome the challenges and how technology can play a part in this,” Lewis said.
To support Australian SMBs with some of these challenges, Microsoft Devices worked with futurist, business author and technologist, Mark Pesce, to analyse the research and identify solutions.
Pesce said the federal budget announcement on SMB tax breaks for mobile computing devices provides SMBs with an opportunity to support business growth and productivity in a working world that isn’t constrained by location or time of day.
“Smart devices are our gateway to all of our relationships. With it, you can share almost anything – a video, document, schedule, etc. When you do that, you can inspire the business and your customers. It’s all about collaboration and improving productivity,” he claimed.
According to Pesce workflows have started to become seamless with integrated apps. And employees can access data directly from the Cloud using these integrated apps on their mobile devices.
“Data on the Cloud means it’s always accessible, always backed-up, and always available for collaboration. A business that learns to collaborate is going to work more productively, is going to be more responsive to its customers, and is going to be more aware of its competitors.”
As part of its initiative to aid SMBs, Microsoft Devices has launched the Power of Do campaign that sends out its band of specialists named the Do Squad to Australian SMBs to help them reduce costs, improve efficiency, and build stronger relations with customers using its Lumia and other Microsoft mobility tools.
Microsoft will not be charging a fee for the service and SMBs can apply for the help of the ‘Do Squad’ on its website. Applicants will have to outline why they need the help of the squad, which then Microsoft Lumia judges will determine the best entrants for the tailored consultation and technology support package.
“We have a great reach into the IT channel, mostly through the traditional retail model, so we are also working with IT partners who then talk to small businesses about the opportunities around our mobility offerings,” Lewis added.