While many Australian businesses might agree that innovation and technology are the cornerstones of business growth in the 21st century, according to a recent Microsoft Australia study, very few are actually following through and ensuring their operations are ahead of the curve.
As part of the Microsoft Asia Pacific New World of Work (NWOW) study, researchers polled 2000 small to medium businesses (SMBs) across the region, including 200 from Australia. While Australian businesses on average have much higher revenues than their Asia and Pacific neighbours, the country was eclipsed by many developing nations.
Australia finished a disappointing 9th, recording a score of 36.33 on the NWOW index. This result was well behind the top three of Indonesia (61.67), the Philippines (61.00) and Vietnam (44.33). Australia was also beaten by Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Microsoft Australia suggested that Australian SMBs could grow as quickly as their regional neighbours if they were more willing to adopt new technologies and innovative ways of operating.
The Applications and Services Group Lead of Microsoft Australia, Steven Miller, explained this significant result in more detail.
"The research shows small and medium businesses in the Asia Pacific have a terrific appetite for new technologies," he said in a June statement.
"They are bypassing more traditional platforms such as desktops and laptops and being more creative through the use of mobile and cloud solutions to really get ahead, often on limited budgets. It's an approach that Australian and New Zealand small and medium businesses could really learn from to stay competitive in the region and globally."
"Small and medium businesses in the Asia Pacific have a terrific appetite for new technologies."
The changing face of Australian workplaces
The Microsoft Australia survey also highlighted a couple of interesting emerging trends.
Firstly, in relation to business connectivity, almost two thirds (64 percent) of Australian respondents have to respond to internal stakeholders within four hours. A similar number (58 percent) were under the same notion for external customers.
With communication required to be fluid, adapting to new technology such as web conferencing or teleconferencing could be the answer, given its ability to include many participants from around the globe quickly.
Secondly, a significant number of Australian workers (64 percent) have to be contactable outside of standard business hours. One reason for this could be the fact that more companies are operating in foreign markets and need to be in communication with stakeholders scattered across the world.
"Progressive companies have changed their workplace policies and capabilities to better succeed in this environment," Dr James Eyring, Chief Operations Officer of Organisation Solutions, explained.
"By enabling employees to work anywhere, at any time, these companies improve employee collaboration, innovation and productivity. In turn, they better serve customers and grow their business."
If you want your business to grow and develop with technology solutions on your side, contact the expert team at Eureka Conferencing.