SMEs too focused on ‘here and now’, says Yorkshire tech expert

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SMEs too focused on ‘here and now’, says Yorkshire tech expert
Craig Such

Almost three quarters of SMEs are too focussed on the ‘here and now’ when facing modern business challenges, says a Yorkshire-based IT provider.

The survey from Azzure IT showed that 73.2% of firms were prioritising improvements to existing ways of working over long-term planning.

Meanwhile, the productivity and performance of staff were the first and second-biggest business challenges faced by the 208 companies surveyed.

The research has led to Azzure MD Craig Such to talk up the role digital transformation could play in taking small to mid-sized businesses forward.

“Most companies said that they were focused on what was happening here and now and dealing with the current challenges, rather than trying to take a step back and think about how they could improve going forward,” he said.

“I think most small to mid-sized businesses seem to be focused on improving today’s ways of working and dealing with priorities in their day-to-day business, rather than looking at tomorrow – and how they can evolve to be more effective, more efficient and make better use of technology to improve.”

Mr Such said that while Azzure’s research shows that many firms feel as though they are modernising processes, updating systems and improving ways of operating, there is work still to be done for the vast majority.

He also stressed that businesses could easily feel daunted by digital transformation, but in reality, the process is a simple one, with the ultimate aim being to improve productivity.

“Painstaking processes can hamper a business’s potential to grow, as more time is spent manually completing remedial tasks, instead of strategically planning for the future,” he said.

“Employees learning and manually updating multiple systems with weak functionality leads to inefficiency and poor productivity.

“As well as productivity, digital transformation gives businesses greater financial control, improved business insight and improved mobility – the flexibility of shifting IT from traditional to cloud-based systems means staff can ‘take the office with them’.”