SMBs are settling for technology that underdelivers new survey reveals – Countering this, Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub is set to simplify IT for customers
Konica Minolta’s digital transformation continues as it releases new details around the innovative Workplace Hub platform
A new survey by Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) into small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has revealed that the vast number of IT challenges experienced daily are actively hampering business’ success. Linked to the latest release of its technology platform, Workplace Hub, Konica Minolta commissioned the research to further reinforce its understanding of SMBs as it transforms into an innovative solutions provider creating a truly connected office.
As part of this endeavour, Konica Minolta has been aggressively investing in R&D, opening its labs to support co-innovation with customers. With a strong footprint of over 2 million customers, the team have actively placed customer research at the heart of all they do to ensure the most relevant solutions are developed.
The multinational survey, conducted in August 2018, exclusively revealed that SMBs are currently settling for IT that under delivers. At least a third of respondents reported that technical issues can lead to increased costs, lower productivity and diminished quality of work. Despite this, 95% say they are satisfied with their current IT solutions. Konica Minolta, who have a clear Workplace of the Future® vision, disagree that problem-filled IT should be the norm in a business setting. To help SMBs overcome these challenges, Konica Minolta created Workplace Hub, a category-defining range of connected office products and services built around how people work.
As organisations make progressive moves toward digital transformation, they encounter the significant challenge of managing multiple systems and connecting disparate data points whilst remaining compliant and competitive. This creates an increasing need for management platforms that offer centralised control removing much of the IT burden. We are seeing several initiatives from IT vendors in this space, who are looking to help their customers on this journey by creating or integrating centralised platforms.
“Our goal at Konica Minolta is to help organisations create the workplace of the future powered by IoT and AI. The first step on this journey is to simplify their IT with an all-in-one IT system that seamlessly integrates hardware, software and services into a multi-vendor, one-stop solution. We believe that Workplace Hub is this solution, seamlessly connects people, spaces and devices and enabling the connected & intelligent office environment. In doing so, SMBs can focus on growing their business, creating new products and business models, and gaining a competitive advantage.
With the research finding that 91% of SMBs say an all-in-one IT system that seamlessly integrates hardware, software and services into a multi-vendor, one-stop solution would be relevant to their organisations, Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub platform delivers what the customers need. Working with a stellar line-up of partners (Acronis, Canonical, Elastic, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, Oracle Dyn, ScienceLogic, ServiceNow and Sophos), Konica Minolta have released Hub and Edge as the first two products to support SMBs in this category.
The first product from this portfolio, known as the Hub, optimises office space for those who need it, building an IoT infrastructure with servers and software in a 1 metre squared space. Edge, a solution for those looking to boost performance from their server room, is a managed IT service that can complement existing systems to manage specific operational tasks or replace and manage all IT. For Konica Minolta, these solutions are the natural continuation in its long line of innovation and world-firsts, and fully supports the transformative journey the company is taking.
Digital transformation is driving business innovation, increasing competitiveness, and creating the business leaders of tomorrow. It has also led to an increasing demand to let people work anywhere they want using a variety of devices. We have long recognised that for many, IT rarely works as it should. In recognising the challenges SMBs face, we have been strategically transforming ourselves, establishing a platform business aimed at creating the first truly connected office.
Key result from the survey
The SMB IT pain-point survey for Konica Minolta was conducted in partnership with Opinium, and targeted 200 SMB senior decision makers per country, across the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. Global highlights include the following:
1. IT challenges
Although 95 percent of organisations across all markets say they are satisfied with their current IT solutions, they also report, in significant numbers, a variety of critical challenges. This includes:
Hardware not working (27%)
Admin IT problems (24%)
Outdated software (24%)
Poor internet connectivity (20%)
Security risks (23%)
Servers crashing (20%)
2. Impact on the business
Nearly one in five SMBs (18%) say that problems with IT infrastructure are one of the three most significant challenges facing their business. The impact of these IT challenges on their businesses is also significant, including:
Time required to fix the problems (41%)
Lower employee productivity (37%)
Cost to fix the problems (35%)
Diminished quality of work (35%)
3. Limiting innovation
While 84% of SMBs across the U.S., the UK, France and Germany feel positively about the impact of future technology on their business’s productivity, many are struggling to implement new IT solutions. For example, over half of SMBs (56%) say they welcome the integration and adoption of AI and machine learning and believe a future that includes these technologies is exciting. An additional 37% say they are cautiously optimistic about the technology.
However, many of the AI and machine learning solutions coming on the market today require the adoption of cloud technologies, and yet according to the survey, only 21% say they plan to adopt cloud infrastructure in the next year and only 19% say they plan to adopt cloud applications. Of those not planning to adopt cloud infrastructure, the reasons include:
Technology is too expensive or the budget isn’t available (30%)
Organisation doesn’t have a use for the technology (29%)
Organisation doesn’t have the expertise to use it (21%)
4. Simplifying IT
Despite the claim of satisfaction with current IT infrastructure, 91% of SMBs say an all-in-one IT system that seamlessly integrates hardware, software and services into a multi-vendor, one-stop solution would be relevant to their organisations.
For more information about Workplace Hub, visit http://workplacehub.com.
About Konica Minolta, Inc.
Konica Minolta, Inc. is a global technology company that provides innovative solutions to businesses and society. With its strengths in the combination of its core technologies in advanced imaging, optics, sensing, materials and nano-processing, Konica Minolta is committed to create new values that help customers address challenges in their operations and work processes. Advancing its expertise in digital technologies, the company has been going through business transformation into a digital company with insight into implicit challenges across the board as One Konica Minolta in the era of Internet of the Things (IoT). Konica Minolta is also active in open innovation through various collaborations and alliances with academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Konica Minolta has its Group companies in 50 countries with over 43,000 employees and offers products and services in 150 countries around the world.
About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation and implements solutions in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious “Buyers Lab PaceSetter award for Smart Workplace Vision” from Keypoint Intelligence” as the only vendor in its industry thanks to its forward-looking vision of the future of work and investment in innovative technology. Being a strong partner for the production and industrial printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and, in 2017, was the production printing market leader for the tenth consecutive year in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa (InfoSource). The hardware portfolio covers light and mid production as well as industrial printing machines. Konica Minolta Marketing Services provides value added services that intelligently link print and digital marketing in an effective and efficient way. In the healthcare sector, Konica Minolta drives digitalisation of clinical workflows and offers a broad range of next-level diagnostic solutions. Through its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R&D laboratories in Europe, Konica Minolta brings innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With almost 9,900 employees (as of April 2018), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over EUR 2.37 billion in financial year 2017/18.
For more information, please visit http://newsroom.konicaminolta.eu/ and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @KonicaMinoltaEU.
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