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To Tackle Pandemic Challenges, Small And Medium Businesses Turn To New IT Strategy To Succeed
SMEs who move quickly to take advantage of new technology business models are not only surviving today’s challenges but also laying the foundation for a more successful post-pandemic future.
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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been hard hit by the pandemic, with 61 percent reporting a fall in sales due to COVID-19 with 47% being impacted in India. However, the news is not all bad: SMEs who move quickly to take advantage of new technology business models are not only surviving today’s challenges but also laying the foundation for a more successful post-pandemic future.
One of the most successful technology adaptations for SMEs has been the outsourcing of IT Managed Services to a trusted service provider. Through this model, the most time-consuming IT operations and functions are outsourced to a service provider, using an IT environment with cloud-based resources that facilitate remote working.
A recent study by global SME and midmarket IT research firm Techaisle found that maintenance and support consume 77% of SME IT staff time, leaving only 23% of the time for transformation or innovation activities. With added pressure to manage costs and reduce IT budgets, managed services can help SMEs get smarter about their existing approach to IT and develop a greater sense of agility without the accompanying capital outlay. By outsourcing standard, IT management tasks, more and more SMEs are now able to channel the energy, time, and talent of their in-house teams towards strategic initiatives that help drive the business forward.
Enhancing Employee Experience for Better Productivity
Adopting Managed Services is not only a time-saver – indirectly, it can also help SMEs retain talent. Research by Forrester, commissioned by Lenovo, found that job satisfaction and productivity levels of SME workers correlate directly to their tech tools and devices. More than 80% of respondents who were satisfied with their work devices felt more productive at work.
This means that having the right access to technology, coupled with a corresponding level of IT support can make a big difference to employee satisfaction. To enable organizations to be successful in this regard, managed services will enable IT related queries from employees to be addressed quickly (and safely) from a distance, just as they ensure that workers from across the region gain access to the right information from the right device, at any time as stipulated in well-articulated service-level agreements between the SME and their appointed managed service providers.
Keeping the Agile Workforce Secure
With large numbers of employees now working from home, important files and data are being accessed from various endpoints, networks, and devices which are oftentimes much less secure than those provided in the office.
This has made it challenging for resource-strained IT teams to have visibility over every employee, their devices, networks, and behaviors, thus exposing businesses to security threats.
This has resulted in a dramatic increase in cyberattacks over the past few months, with cybercriminals taking advantage of remote workers and unsecured endpoints to infiltrate business systems and data.
To achieve both agility and resilience, managed services can also bring deep expertise to bear in order to prevent and handle such threats. These include endpoint management, threat detection, information protection, remote wipe, and restoration of devices.
There is no good time for a disaster – but the availability and robustness of today’s Managed Services are helping more SMEs than ever face the challenges and set out the groundwork for a more rapid recovery.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.