According to research, three-quarters of UK SMEs are failing to embrace workplace technologies such as cloud, mobile working and BYOD.

The findings, based on a survey of 500 SMEs by Crown Workspace, claim that a failure to keep up with changing trends is stifling growth, productivity and employee engagement. The report also warns that this lack of cloud innovation could impact the business agility, security and financial efficiency of the sector.

Key findings

  • Three-quarters of UK SMEs are failing to embrace workplace technologies such as cloud, mobile working and digital devices
  • Two-thirds of SME owners admit their current workplace, including its lack of technological innovation, is limiting engagement with employees and their ability to retain the best talent
  • Fewer than one in five respondents are ready for voice technology in the workplace
  • Only a quarter of businesses feel “very prepared” to support proper mobile working and BYOD (bring your own device) practices
  • Some new technologies such as Li-Fi (cellular wireless networking using light) and automated heating and lighting are creeping onto the SME agenda
  • Most respondents feel that their connectivity is up to the mark. However, one in five said that they still needed better broadband speed and Wi-Fi to support expansion.

With technology now impacting nearly every aspect of business life, more must be done to help these SMEs keep up with their larger counterparts.

How important is cost?

Interestingly, cost is said to be the most common barrier preventing SMEs from creating the optimum workspace that features modern technology. However, the cloud actually provides access to enterprise-level tech at an affordable cost. So could a lack of awareness be the problem?

Business growth

According to the study, technology also appears to be an afterthought in growth strategies, with more SMEs worrying about having better storage facilities as they grow.

However, the right tech is crucial when it comes to helping startups and SMEs to develop and thrive.

For example, with cloud-hosted desktops, you only ever pay for what you need on a per-user basis. But it’s easy to scale up (or down) on demand. So, should you need to open a new office, you can get your new location up-and-running quickly and easily; with access to all the same services and applications. So you benefit from a flexible system that supports business growth, rather than hinders it.

Commenting on the report, Simon Gammell, director at Crown Workspace said:

“Modern technology has created a new set of rules for the workplace. Tech such as WiFi, remote storage and mobile are what employees expect, and that’s what SME owners should consider first when designing a workspace to ensure that their people can work and communicate effectively.

“Design factors such as layout, equipment and furniture are also massively important too, but should not come at the detriment of technology.”

You can access the report ‘The Missed Middle: The Impact of Unsuitable Workspace on Britain’s SMEs here.

Today’s cloud technology is helping SMEs to compete, innovate and grow. Find out more about how our cloud-hosted desktops can help your small business to flourish.