Small businesses often succeed by getting a lot done with relatively few resources. Through a combination of ingenuity, agility and pure hustle, they overcome complex challenges in ways that make it look simple to their customers.
The pandemic demonstrated this in spades. But even as business returns to “normal”, the world is no less complex. In fact, the pandemic likely accelerated a shift to a more complex world — one that operates at ceaseless high speed, with employees and contractors working from multiple locations.
“The world has changed in terms of how and where work is being conducted,” says Anurag Agrawal, founder and chief global analyst at market research firm Techaisle, in the latest edition of SMB dynamo, a new quarterly Cisco ebook that in its latest edition explores the trend toward hybrid work.
To adapt, small and medium businesses (SMBs) are doing what they do best: finding solutions that simplify their increasingly complex business operations.
SMBs now have a heightened awareness of their need to modernize IT, according to Techaisle research. While organizations were often pursuing various degrees of digital transformation prior to the pandemic, the new perspectives we’ve all gained on how and where work gets done have refocused those efforts. Primary drivers of digital transformation used to be business growth and customer intimacy; now it’s operational efficiency and connectivity between employees, customers and partners.
In fact, Techaisle research reveals that collaboration is now ranked as a top priority by 96% of SMBs — enabling remote and hybrid work will act as the foundation for the further evolution of workplace models.
“We see three technology focal areas as pillars of hybrid work: unified workspace/collaboration, security everywhere, and advanced networking. Delivered together, in an integrated fashion, these capabilities can help the SMB organization address productivity and employee satisfaction and retention.”
Change always brings with it new levels of complexity. But in some ways the last few years have simplified the direction many SMBs need to take in their digital transformation journeys: focus first on enabling better workplace collaboration, and the other puzzle pieces start to fall into place.