SMEs want a digital workplace, but getting there is hard

Two thirds consider the digital workplace a priority, yet 50 per cent don't have a plan of implementation.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Europe are interested in transforming and creating a digital workplace, however company strategy is hardly keeping up. This is according to a new report released recently by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. Polling more than 500 SMEs all over Europe, it found that two thirds (66 per cent) consider digital workplace a 'strategic priority'. 

Still, half (50 per cent) of companies don't have a plan on how to make it happen. A quarter wants to invest in the digital workplace over the course of the next 12 months, but both security and cost are raising concerns. Almost a third (30 per cent) are looking for technology to optimise the mobile workforce, and another 20 per cent is thinking about it. 

Four fifths (80 per cent) of healthcare and finance workers believe the digital workplace will be important. “The more advanced digital technology and analytics we have invested in has increased our understanding of clients’ purchasing behaviours. It’s also very important to have flexibility to work from anywhere,” said Jeremy Lye, European Marketing Manager at financial asset management company Schroders UK.  

“Our clients are based across various parts of the country which means our sales people can now visit clients at their offices and access business data just as if they were in their office. This has improved sales productivity and clients are happier.” Better security, as well as better control over all devices, is being perceived as essential to make the digital workplace a reality. More than four fifths (85 per cent) plan on seeking local IT partner’s advice.