Mid-sized businesses lead the way in workplace technology
Medium-sized businesses now account for over 60 percent of US jobs, and are investing fast in technology, but they must ensure they have the skills and management in place to avoid falling behind.
A new study from Aruba looks at how mid-sized businesses around the world are currently adopting workplace technology,
Among key findings are that almost two-thirds (63 percent) of medium-sized business employees rate the choice of technology, applications and IT support at their company as either good or very good. That compares to 53 percent of those also surveyed from the largest companies. Medium-sized businesses are also ahead of the competition in their use of advanced audio-visual technologies (such as voice-activated and wireless communication tools), which are offered by an average of 27 percent of medium-sized businesses, compared to only 16 percent of smaller and 22 percent of larger employers.
There is a heavy emphasis on the cloud too. Around a quarter (24 percent) of medium-sized business employees say their company has invested in cloud storage software over the last 12 months, compared to 17 percent of large firms. Medium-sized businesses are also prioritizing cyber security software: 39 percent report investments in this area in the last year, compared to 31 percent of large businesses.
This commitment to new technology means employees of medium-sized businesses are significantly more likely (66 percent) to rate their environment at work as either good or very good in comparison to those at the largest companies (57 percent). Businesses of this size are also more agile when it comes to offering flexibility for employees to use personal devices for work -- with 72 percent of medium-sized business employees allowed to do this, compared to only 53 percent of those who work for larger employers.
Two thirds of employees at medium-sized businesses say their organization is at risk of falling behind competitors by not implementing new technology, so the pressure to keep pace is clear -- but so too are the risks.
Despite being conscious of their organizations' cybersecurity policies, nearly three quarters (74 percent) of medium-sized business employees say they have taken risks with company data in the past year. In addition, less than half (48 percent) say that security is the responsibility of every employee -- compared to two thirds of those who work for the largest employers (66 percent).
"As the adoption and integration of technology becomes a bigger priority across the corporate spectrum, medium-sized businesses have a distinct opportunity," says Patrick LaPorte, senior director, product marketing at Aruba. "Though often forgotten in the digital transformation conversation -- with the focus instead on how large companies are struggling to adapt or smaller businesses are seizing the ability to scale -- it is medium-sized businesses whose employees show the willingness and agility to make better use of technology and understanding of the opportunities it brings. The key is enabling them to do so. But with that comes a certain degree of security risk."
You can find out more in the full report available from the Aruba website.