A Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence IT and business operations pain points study has revealed the depth of security and home working challenges during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the pain points of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around security and data protection. 48 per cent described security and data protection as being their number one IT challenges. 37 per cent of businesses said that their employees had experienced virus, malware, or security threats due to conditions imposed during the pandemic. As a result of those security issues, 47 per cent of companies have acquired or upgraded IT security software or services.
The findings were revealed by new research by Keypoint Intelligence entitled: ‘Top SMB IT Pain Points & Solutions’, created on behalf of Konica Minolta. It surveyed 550 SMB IT decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic to identify their main challenges and pain points relating to technology.
SMBs encountered significant challenges in their effort to enable remote work in the wake of the pandemic: For example, 38 per cent of IT decision-makers viewed managing remote work as being difficult or very difficult. For nearly half of SMBs (49 per cent), the lack of necessary employee hardware or software was a difficulty associated with home-based working. Similarly, 44 per cent of IT decision-makers identified servicing/supporting home workers’ IT hardware or software as a challenge.
Olaf Lorenz, Senior General Manager Digital Transformation Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe said, "as a likely consequence of this, 33 per cent invested in managed IT services as a result of COVID-19.”
In terms of day-to-day operations, home working also presented challenges relating to team communication and in accessing and collaborating on files: 51 per cent of respondents identified communication with managers or other employees as a business operation challenge resulting from work-from-home arrangements. Meanwhile, 37 per cent indicated that locating files was an IT challenge associated with working from home, while 30 per cent cited digital document collaboration as a business operations challenge resulting from employees working remotely.
Olaf said, "from these findings, it is clear why 35 per cent of SMBs have invested in document sharing and collaboration applications as a result of the pandemic.”
Other technologies also saw increased adoption: 45 per cent acquired or upgraded cloud data storage because of COVID-19, for example.
Olaf said, “the challenge of remote working has certainly spurred digitalisation efforts overall. In 65 per cent of organisations, decision-makers said that the pressures of the pandemic had accelerated their journey towards greater digitalisation.”
A common way to achieve this is to digitise documents. This is probably why 56 per cent of organisations cited scanning initiatives prompted by COVID-19 as drivers for increased digitalisation. Against this background, it is nevertheless remarkable that many SMBs are still heavily reliant on paper-based processes with 42 per cent of business content remaining on paper. 49 per cent of organisations cited privacy and safety concerns as the main reason for still using paper.
The whitepaper with in-depth results and further findings is available from Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence here.