Agility 'essential' to SMB survival

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For European small and medium-sized businesses, agility is crucial to ensure their success, new research has said. 

That's according to a report by Ricoh Europe, which adds that SMB leaders are looking towards technology to help them become more agile.

Based on a poll of 1,608 SMB heads, the report says 51 per cent are introducing new tech to respond faster to trends and opportunities. Roughly the same number (52 per cent) believe that if they don’t do that, they’ll fall behind within a five-year period.

Looking at the technology that SMB leaders focus on, it seems to be the one addressing core employee needs, including automation (72 per cent), data analytics (64 per cent), document management (62 per cent) and video conferencing (56 per cent).

“The European SMB community is hugely ambitious. As a result of challenging market conditions, business leaders are rightly eager to identify new opportunities early and reap the maximum reward," said Javier Diez-Aguirre, VP corporate marketing at Ricoh Europe.

"They know that remaining agile is crucial in order to capitalise on market changes and value the role technology plays in this. It’s clear that agility is high up on the SMB agenda and business leaders do not see the issue as being exclusive to larger competitors.”

Key business success factor seems to be the boost to productivity and innovation, which usually comes with new technology, the report adds.

Diez-Aguirre added: “SMB leaders aren’t fooled by the hype around technologies such as virtual reality and blockchain. Instead, they wisely choose to prioritise investment in the tools that will have a real, positive impact on the bottom-line. Those that haven’t already must carefully consider how technology can enable their employees to work faster and smarter, thus making their business more agile. If not, they could soon find that they’re the ones facing extinction as the market moves on without them”.

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