White paper: SME growth hinges on workplace automation, Xerox research shows

Johannesburg, 14 Jan 2022
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Despite the myriad challenges presented during the pandemic, small and medium-sized businesses owners are optimistic about 2021 and beyond, a new white paper by Xerox shows. Automation of tasks and processes will be the driving force of that optimism. 

SMBs and the Role of Innovation in Weathering the Pandemic, released by Xerox, showcases a comprehensive series of survey results. Drawn from 1 200 business leaders of companies with between 25 and 1 000 employees in the US, Canada and the UK, 64% say they will emerge stronger after the pandemic. But the telling numbers focus on automation, digitisation and security. 

A sampling:

  • 82% say digitising paperwork is important to the survival of their business.
  • 75% are more reliant on workflow technologies, compared with their pre-pandemic set-ups.
  • 88% view security software and hardware that protects business information as core to their longevity, with 75% likely to upgrade current solutions this year.

Businesses that weathered the pandemic heavily relied on technological tools. The white paper shows that 80% of those leaders thought task automation was key to their business survival, while 85% say they’re more reliant than ever before on communication technologies, remote IT support and security hardware.

More than half of respondents anticipate a flexible, hybrid workplace as the future. They also say government stimulus will be essential to ensure their full transition to a technologically driven, hybrid model.

Xerox has a suite of solutions targeted at SMEs that address key technology requirements for collaboration, communication, remote IT support, security and automation. These include:

  • Xerox Content Hub is a secure creative platform for distributed employees to independently access professional document templates, customise and print locally or use digitally.
  • IT Services can manage, maintain and support a hybrid IT infrastructure, ensuring that security solutions map to SMEs’ identified business risks.
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) deploys a bot workforce that increases productivity across key business processes such as customer billing, financial close and accounts payable.

Xerox’s RPA solution for SME customers puts back-office processes on autopilot so SMEs can focus on higher value work. Customers choose an easy-to-deploy bot from a catalogue or create a new bot tailored to a specific process. Xerox’s team handles the bot configuration, deployment, hosting, training and support.

There’s reason for small and medium-sized businesses to be confident, as the paper shows. But it’ll come with a familiar refrain for those businesses: there’s work to do.

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