In the latest study commissioned by Microsoft and Intel among SMEs across the Asia Pacific region, more than a third of SMBs (36%) still own PCs that are more than four years running and 31% that owns an old PC has an outdated Windows OS.
The survey findings equally resonate exposure of organizations to cybersecurity, data protection vulnerabilities and IT threats. Just in the last year alone, 62% of SMBs surveyed said they had experienced a security breach. To top it off, majority of SMBs (86%) lacked an organization-wide mobility strategy.
The study indicates that elevating business growth, increasing profitability and improving workforce productivity are the enterprises’ top priorities. In terms of tech strategy, businesses aim to achieve these business goals through Cloud, AI, Mobility and PC.
“Technology can be a real enabler for businesses, both small and large, and SMBs should continue to recognize the value that IT investment can bring to their present and future growth,” said Belinda Widgery, Channel & Device Marketing Lead, Microsoft Asia.
“SMBs employ over half of the workforce in the Asia Pacific, significantly contributing to the region’s economic growth. Employees in this region, most of whom are young and mobile, are digital natives and appreciate modern work environments and tools that allow them to work smarter and more effectively. We want to work alongside SMBs in Asia to help them realize their ambitions and succeed in this competitive marketplace,” added Widgery.
Narrowing the adoption gap
According to the study, the continued delay in SMBs’ adoption of newer technological infrastructure across business functions, was due to factors such as perceived app incompatibility, high costs associated with acquiring, maintaining new IT hardware and software. Slightly more than half of SMBs surveyed (54%) said growing enterprises are not actively replacing their PCs or adopting newer tech infrastructures across their business functions.
It was also revealed that a PC older than 4 years old is also 2.7 times more likely to undergo repairs, resulting in productivity loss. 85% of larger SMEs, with more than 500 employees, have PCs that are older than four years, compared to 60% in enterprises with less than 100 employees.
One way to narrow the technology adoption is with cloud adoption and improved PC security.
More than half (54%) of SMBs said they are aware of PC-as-a-Service offerings, with 40% planning to adopt them within the next year. Key motivators for this include having the option to acquire the latest technology faster (57%) and reducing IT support workload across their business functions (55%).
Windows-as-a-Service was also cited as another way SMBs can refresh their older PCs as it provides security patches and regular OS updates for optimized use. Concerns over app compatibility is addressed with Windows 10, the most app-compatible version of Windows-to-date with best practices including app telemetry, ISV partnerships for diagnostic data and troubleshooting as well as looping feedback cycles.
With the upcoming Windows 7 End of Support, SMBs have to make their shift towards newer PCs and operating systems as users will no longer receive security updates or support for PCs running on Windows 7. This includes new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, and online technical content updates.
Microsoft has announced beginning of 2019 that after January 14, 2020, security updates or support for Windows 7 will cease as it channels its resources to supporting newer technologies.
With only a few months left to the end of support deadline, Filipino entrepreneurs and IT decision-makers are highly encouraged to consider an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and plan to purchase new PCs to run the new OS. It is recommended that Windows 10 is installed on newer devices, as some Windows 7 devices are not compatible with the new OS or could experience reduced feature availability. Those with compatible or newer PCs on the other hand will just need to get the full version of Windows 10 to upgrade their existing devices.
This innovation of technology demonstrates how an SMB can transform many of its processes to integrate workflow automation, save time, reduce costs and focus on critical business innovation.