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Survey Finds 60% Of Aussie & NZ Small-Medium Businesses In ‘Survival Mode’ After Pandemic

A new survey has found an alarmingly large percentage of small and medium businesses in Australia and New Zealand are in ‘crisis’ or ‘survival mode’ due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, IDC surveyed 1210 small and medium businesses and found 60 per cent are still struggling financially thanks to the pandemic lockdown and continued restrictions.

“The impacts of the lockdowns and work-at-home directives have not only delayed projects or initiatives, but also exposed SMBs shortcomings in connectivity, support, security, and sourcing. Business resiliency of these SMBs was put to the test as their IT systems adapted to a new operating environment,” says Chris Morris, Vice President, Cloud Services and Partner at IDC Asia Pacific.

While cost optimisation remains a top priority, IDC expects SMBs will continue investing in technology to modernise their existing systems and to build innovative new business models. Slightly more than half (51 per cent) of the Australian SMBs indicate higher IT spending in 2021.

However, it seems New Zealand SMBs are not as optimistic with only 43 per cent indicating higher IT spending this year.

IDC also anticipates spending in cloud, collaboration, cybersecurity solutions to increase the most in the coming year.

“COVID-19 has challenged SMBs’ digital transformation journey beyond their capabilities. With digitalisation being the focus for A/NZ SMBs in the next 24 months, these businesses will require tech and business professional services as much as technology itself,” adds Morris.

“SMBs are often challenged on their levels of technology and business digital skills and increasingly reliant on their technology suppliers. Suppliers are advantaged if they can deliver what is needed. Success with the SMBs will be contingent on an understanding of their businesses and consistent trusted relationships.”

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