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Security and data protection remain the number one concerns for SMEs and is where the channel should be focusing efforts to reduce customer pain points.
A whitepaper from Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK, Top SMB digital & IT pain points & solutions, surveyed hundreds of small and medium-sized firms across the UK, Europe and US, and concluded that security was the top issue, followed by concerns around adopting emerging technologies and keeping up with technology trends.
Not only did 45% of SMEs put security at the top of the pain point lists, but 67% revealed that they had been victims of malware incidents in the past couple of years. The growth in hybrid working is also triggering some sleepless nights around data protection for many customers.
Francis Thornhill, head of customer and solutions marketing at Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK, said that SMEs have been particularly affected by the pandemic and so the firm wanted to get a picture of where SMEs were looking for help on the IT front.
“IT is the backbone of many SMBs and it is imperative that it functions smoothly and reliably to maximise productivity and worker satisfaction, enabling the business to concentrate on its key business objectives and to thrive in a competitive marketplace,” said Thornhill.
There are also different responses depending on business size, with those employing between 50 and 199 staff suffering more IT pain points than compared to those that have a higher headcount.
The Konica Minolta Business Solutions findings did throw up some positives, with signs that the experiences of the pandemic have already spurred many SMEs to make investments in IT security and software.
Steve Feeley, IT services category manager at Konica Minolta, said that it wanted to give SMEs guidance to help them protect their businesses.
“It’s useful to understand trends and determine how your organisation’s top IT pain points compare to those most commonly being experienced by SMBs. You also need to assess the extent to which your digital and IT roadmap addresses the top challenges and priorities, then adjust accordingly, investing in the right technology and services to alleviate your top pain points as well as fulfil your leading business objectives,” he said.
He added that the channel was already armed with the answers for customers and it would be pointing users in the direction of its partners to take the next steps.
“There are a wide range of affordable and customisable security, digitisation, communication and collaboration, network optimisation and business continuity solutions that exist to address differing concerns.
“To best implement and maintain these solutions, we recommend partnering with a reputable managed services provider with deep digital and IT expertise, enabling your business’ IT to remain a key asset rather than a pain point,” he said.