Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the Asia Pacific region are adopting technology to compete across geographical borders, stay secure, and capture digital opportunities, according to an IDC survey commissioned by Cisco.
The recent IDC survey of more than 900 SMBs across Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, and India shows that the top three business priorities for SMBs are to reduce costs, gain operational efficiency, and improve productivity. These business priorities are closely aligned to their top technology priorities: IT security and improving IT skillsets and productivity.
With the recent episodes of cyberattacks, SMBs view security as an important foundation of their business success. Across the region, 84 percent of respondents said they are focused on building a more secure IT environment, while it is also the number-one technology priority for Singapore SMBs surveyed .
Increasing workforce mobility emerged as the top reason for making IT purchases, driving new technology investments for 47 percent of SMBs in the region. Reflecting the increasingly mobile workforce of today, SMBs in Singapore are turning to workforce mobility to improve productivity, improve collaboration, and foster innovation enabled by integrated collaboration solutions, underpinned by a secure and intelligent network.
Cisco Start: Helping SMBs do more with less
Cisco® Start was introduced in December 2016 as a suite of technology solutions to address the needs of SMBs, which account for more than 97 percent of all enterprises in the region. With the Cisco Start portfolio, Cisco is providing SMBs across the Asia Pacific region with access to enterprise-grade technology to secure their business and their network as a foundation, be more productive, and sharpen their competitive edge to capture digital opportunities.
“We launched Cisco Start as a commitment to helping SMBs adopt a digital-first mindset so they can get ahead of the technology curve to serve evolving customer needs. The advantage SMBs have is that they are agile, but because they are resource tight, they need to do more with less, and technology can help them,” said Bastiaan Toeset, Vice President, Commercial, Asia Pacific and Japan at Cisco.
Cisco Start Challenge: SMB IT Makeover in Singapore
Today, Cisco is announcing a contest, Cisco Start Challenge: SMB IT Makeover, to help SMBs in Singapore stay ahead of the technology curve. Singapore is the first country in the region where Cisco is launching the SMB IT Makeover.
Singapore SMBs are invited to submit applications to explain how Cisco can solve their business needs through improving either workforce productivity or workspace expansion. The winner will receive an IT makeover with S$40,000* worth of Cisco Start products and services.
“SMBs are a key pillar of the economy in Singapore, and the government has introduced digital programs to encourage SMBs to embrace technology. At Cisco, we understand the common challenges faced by SMBs in Singapore, and we are reinforcing our commitment to SMBs with the Cisco Start Challenge: SMB IT Makeover,” said Bee Kheng Tay, Managing Director, Cisco Singapore.
With solutions that are simple, highly secure, and smart, Cisco Start allows greater efficiencies for SMBs at an operational level: enabling them to respond quickly to market changes, access critical business information in real time, and address evolving customer expectations. Such capabilities will level the playing field for SMBs to compete with larger enterprises, offering opportunities for SMBs to grow and innovate.