NORWALK, Conn. — One year after the pandemic hit many small and medium-sized businesses hard, a new global survey shows 80 percent of these companies consider the ability to automate tasks and processes key to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. 85 percent were more reliant than ever before on communication technologies, remote IT support, and security hardware and software.
The Xerox State and Fate of Small and Medium Business survey conducted by Morning Consult polled 1,200 business decision makers from companies with 25 to 1,000 employees in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Other key findings:
- 82 percent say digitizing paperwork is important to their survival.
- 75 percent are more reliant on workflow technologies, compared with their pre-pandemic setups.
- 88 percent view security software and hardware that protects business information as core to their longevity, with 75 percent likely to upgrade current solutions this year.
- 65 percent said remote IT support was a substantial pain point – and 74 percent are likely to invest in better solutions this year.
Survey respondents were optimistic: 64 percent anticipate emerging from the pandemic stronger. 81 percent acknowledge the health crisis has made them more reliant on technology – and they clearly see that reliance continuing in order to support and secure a distributed workforce. Compared to last year, 75 percent have increased their technology budgets by an average of 34 percent.
“Small and medium businesses are the foundation of the U.S. economy and are critical for sustained economic growth,” said Joanne Collins Smee, chief commercial, SMB and channels officer at Xerox. “They need technologies designed specifically for them with local service and support experts who understand unique business needs.”
Xerox has a suite of solutions targeted at SMBs that address key technology requirements for collaboration, communication, remote IT support, security, and automation.
- Xerox Content Hub is a secure creative platform for distributed employees to independently access professional document templates, customize, and print locally or use digitally.
- IT Services can manage, maintain and support a hybrid IT infrastructure, ensuring that security solutions map to SMBs’ identified business risks.
- Robotic process automation (RPA) deploys a bot workforce that increases productivity across key business processes such as customer billing, financial close, and accounts payable.
Xerox’s RPA solution for SMB customers puts back office processes on autopilot so SMBs can focus on higher value work. Customers choose an easy-to-deploy bot from a catalog or create a new bot tailored to a specific process. Xerox’s team handles the bot configuration, deployment, hosting, training and support.
Customers are excited about the opportunities Xerox RPA provides by automating some of their routine day-to-day processes. Deanne Anderson, owner of Creative Development, a pediatric outpatient therapeutic service recently said, “The Xerox RPA solution will free up administrative staff and myself so that we don’t have to focus on data collection. This will enable us to spend more time utilizing the data to make changes and develop a bonus system for staff.”
The State and Fate of Small and Medium Business white paper is available for download here.
For more on Xerox small and medium business partnership and technologies, visit: https://www.xerox.com/en-us/small-business.