Agility essential to SME survival as half of leaders say they won’t exist in the next 5 years without it

Workplace productivity

Improving agility is a top priority for European SME leaders seeking to take advantage of a digitally empowered workplace according to a new study.

Half of the respondents to the europe wide survey are specifically introducing new technology to respond faster to trends and opportunities as they say that without the benefits of updated workplace technology they will fail within five years.

Small and medium sized business decision makers clearly prioritise technology that directly addresses core employee needs. They believe automation, data analytics, document management and video conferencing will have the most positive impact on their business.

Javier Diez-Aguirre, VP Corporate Marketing, Ricoh Europe, who commissioned the research, said: “The European SME 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. 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.”

The productivity and innovation benefits of smarter workplace technology is considered a critical factor for business success. 70 per cent of those questioned put technology at the heart of their organisation’s capacity to thrive, indicating a strong belief in the value of a digitally empowered workplace.

Diez-Aguirre added: “SME 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”.