While we were all thinking how the cloud has taken the business world by storm, a study by Optus has made us realize how wrong we were. The report named “How digital-ready is your business?” – which is based on a survey of 850 people from SMBs containing no more than 50 employees – shows how most SMBs (59%) have no idea or are unsure of what the cloud is and what it offers to them.
Of those surveyed, less than 10% admitted to fully understanding cloud solutions and even if they did, 34% of them said that they have not adopted the technology yet. As it this weren’t enough, almost a third of the respondents didn’t believe that the cloud would be of help to their business, while 25% admitted that they required further information.
As of now, only 4% of small businesses are using the cloud or considering it for data backup. The ability to access data from anywhere (50%) and a lower total cost of ownership (24%) were found to be other areas of interest among cloud users.
Talking about the ability to access data from anywhere, we were glad to hear that most businesses have been quick to embrace mobile devices (because mobility is valuable!). Most business reported having equipped staff with mobile phones for added productivity and 5% of survey respondents said that they provide their staff with tablets! That’s great! But wait – more gloomy statistics are yet to come.
You might find this shocking to hear but the report has revealed that 48% of Australian small businesses don’t have a website! At a time when 93% of online Australians access the internet daily and 71% use their smart phones to browse the web, just imagine how much small businesses are missing out on online customers by not having a business website (which is of utter importance in this ever connected era). The report also revealed that only 28% of the small businesses with websites are extremely satisfied with what they have. Otherwise, more than a quarter of respondents see no value in having an online presence.
To make things seem worse, 43 per cent of the respondents admitted having difficulties in keeping up with technology developments and 73 per cent said they adopt a “wait-and-see” approach before taking up IT products and services. 50 per cent of SMBs, however, feel that they know enough about IT to make informed decisions while 64 per cent said they turn to IT experts for advice.
Another finding that has got us worried is that only 21% of the 850 SMBs surveyed regularly back up their data and of the 21% who do, only 8% do it offsite. Just give it a thought…what’s the point in backing up data onsite if a natural disaster is to destroy it along with the original data that happens to sit beside it?
Well, it looks like Australian SMBs have some serious catching up to do when it comes to technology and digital readiness. How digital-ready is YOUR business?