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Konica Minolta research reveals impact of COVID-19 on SMBs

Konica Minolta research reveals impact of COVID-19 on SMBs

July 21, 2021

Olaf Lorenz, Senior General Manager Digital Transformation Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe

Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence IT and business operations pain points study reveals depth of security and home working challenges during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the pain points of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around security and data protection. 48% described security and data protection as being their number one IT challenges. 37% of businesses said that their employees had experienced virus, malware or security threats due to conditions imposed during the pandemic. As a result of those security issues, 47% of companies have acquired or upgraded IT security software or services.

The findings were revealed by new research by Keypoint Intelligence ‘Top SMB IT Pain Points & Solutions’, created on behalf of Konica Minolta. It surveyed 550 SMB IT decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to identify their main challenges and pain points relating to technology.

SMBs encountered significant challenges in their effort to enable remote work in the wake of the pandemic: For example, 38% of IT decision-makers viewed managing remote work as being difficult or very difficult. For nearly half of SMBs (49%), the lack of necessary employee hardware or software was a difficulty associated with home-based working. Similarly, 44% of IT decision-makers identified servicing/supporting home workers’ IT hardware or software as a challenge. “As a likely consequence of this, 33% invested in managed IT services as a result of COVID-19,” sums up Olaf Lorenz, Senior General Manager Digital Transformation Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe.

In terms of day-to-day operations, home working also presented particular challenges relating to team communication and in accessing and collaborating on files: 51% of respondents identified communication with managers or other employees as a business operation challenge resulting from work-from-home arrangements.

Meanwhile, 37% indicated that locating files was an IT challenge associated with working from home, while 30% cited digital document collaboration as business operations challenge resulting from employees working remotely. “From these findings, it is clear why 35% of SMBs have invested in document sharing and collaboration applications as a result of the pandemic,” concluded Lorenz.

The challenge of remote working spurring digitilisation efforts
Other technologies also saw increased adoption: 45% acquired or upgraded cloud data storage as a result of COVID-19, for example. “The challenge of remote working has certainly spurred digitalisation efforts overall. In 65% of organisations, decision-makers said that the pressures of the pandemic had accelerated their journey towards greater digitalisation,” added Lorenz. A common way to achieve this is to digitise documents. 

This is probably why 56% of organisations cited scanning initiatives prompted by COVID-19 as drivers for increased digitalisation. Against this background, it is nevertheless remarkable that many SMBs are still heavily reliant on paper-based processes with 42% of business content remaining on paper. 49% of organisations cited privacy and safety concerns as the main reason for still using paper.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : COVID-19 Digitalisation Konica Minolta Research SMBs

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