SME leaders must focus on digital transformation in order to survive

19 Feb 2018

Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK. Image: Phillip Leonard

New research shows SME leaders are focusing heavily on business agility in 2018.

The business world is changing rapidly, with new technologies being introduced to make processes more efficient, tailored and responsive.

The frenetic pace of digital transformation is on the minds of European SME leaders, according to new research carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Ricoh.

1,608 SME leaders across Europe were polled as part of the research and 52pc said their businesses would fail without commitment to digital transformation and adoption of new technology.

Digital transformation is key to survival

Technology that addresses core employee needs is clearly a priority for SME leaders, with almost three-quarters (72pc) believing automation will have the most positive impact on their organisation, followed by data analytics (64pc), document management (62pc) and video conferencing (56pc).

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the majority of SME leaders view technology as means to boost their business. 86pc of decision-makers are actively focusing on improving business agility and 51pc are introducing new technology specifically to respond to new trends and the myriad of opportunities that a thoughtful digital strategy can present.

Agility and ambition

Speaking about the findings, Chas Moloney, director at Ricoh Ireland and UK, said: “It is evident that there is a strong link between increased output and a digitally enabled workplace. Due to the ever-changing nature of the industry, business leaders are quite rightly making sure that they are identifying and embracing new opportunities.

“Staying agile and being ambitious is vital if SMEs in Ireland are to capitalise on market changes. Technology is central to this in that companies needs to invest in the right tools, which will have a real and positive impact on their bottom line. Those that haven’t already could find themselves being left behind.”

The SME leaders polled came from a variety of European countries, including: Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and Ireland.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects