What does a digital workspace look like for SMBs

by Mobility 08 February 2019

Step into the digital workplace

As a small or medium-sized business (SMB), you know that digital technology has the potential to revolutionise the way you work and open doors to offering new products, services or customer experiences.

Most businesses understand the importance of digital transformation, but are still a long way off from unlocking that potential. Many SMBs today are challenged by older technology and processes that consume team time and effort, and impede business growth.

Without the right technology, employees waste 42 days a year

We are at the start of the 4th industrial revolution that is characterised by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical and digital worlds and Australia is lagging. Australia is at risk of becoming one of the losing countries in this revolution. Australian businesses are falling further behind other OECD countries, Australia is slipping and is now on the fringe of Top 20 at 20th place in the Global Innovation Index and real per capita income fallen by 6% since the peak in the terms of trade in 2011.
Empowering Digital Workplaces report, Ricoh 2017
 

But what does transformation look like? Like much in life, it depends on where you place your focus and what is most relevant to you. Let’s have a quick look inside a smart workplace and see how they run things there.

Mobile and flexible working is simplified with central management

The continued adoption of mobile and flexible working patterns has introduced challenges around user, device and information management. Smart SMBs make sure their employees have easy access to information when and where they need it. Mobile devices and users are managed from a central location, either at the office or by a trusted partner. Documents can be shared and printed from a variety of devices and security is in place to protect confidential information.

Collaboration is supported with easy-to-use tools

In a recent survey by the Digital Workplace Experience Conference (DWX), collaboration topped the list of digital workplace priorities among respondents.  The smart workplace facilitates teamwork. Whether they are across town or at the other side of the world, teams can share ideas and knowledge in real time. Smart meeting rooms equipped with conferencing technology and collaboration tools like interactive whiteboards make it easy to work together and make well-informed decisions fast, with the whole team on-screen.

Information storage and access is simple and secure

Information is the lifeblood of most businesses today, and regulations like the GDPR have placed new data handling responsibilities on businesses of all sizes. According to the DWX survey, document management topped the list of tools currently being adopted, but most organisations agreed that there is still a way to go to optimise these tools for the workplace. Smart SMBs are prepared for all eventualities. All business information is organised, easily accessible, backed up and secure. Stored customer information is associated with data verifying usage agreements and is simple to delete on request or access if business processes are audited.

The business is flexible, agile and open to better ways to work

According to Gartner, small and medium-sized business IT spending will see steady growth, at a five year compound annual rate of 3.6%. The market will continue to be software/ service-spending-driven compared with hardware spending.’ The smart workplace has made the transition from traditional workflows to cost-effective digital-first operations. It uses software as a service for cost-effective access to the latest, most fit for purpose tools, along with a variety of industry-specific apps to fine-tune business processes. And it ensures business continuity by storing core business information in the cloud.

IT infrastructure is secure, reliable and hassle free

With a global IT skills shortage, competition is fierce to secure talent to take organisations to the next level. Currently more than 60% of SMBs outsource IT operations to save time and money and focus on their core business functions. In the smart workplace, user data and device permissions are managed centrally and monitoring is set up across the IT infrastructure to allow for proactive maintenance. Self-service device support is used for routine tasks and is easily escalated to remote support or on-site visits when needed.

Digital transformation – we’re here to help you work smart

Any journey in life takes place one step at a time and is improved with the right company. The road to digital transformation is no different. Ricoh is here to support your business and your team every step of the way as you harness today’s digital opportunities. RICOH’s Business of Change is a multi-service offering designed specifically to help your SMB establish and implement the digital route most relevant to your goals and culture.




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