SMEs Not Onboard with Flexible Working

Martin Flick Olive

Large numbers of UK SMEs are wasting money and hampering flexible working by failing to link together their fixed-line and mobile communications, according to research from business communications company, Olive Communications.

The data reveals that the majority (80%) of SMEs have yet to merge their mobile and fixed line telecoms. However, of those businesses that have been through this process, many report benefits including cost savings (72%), improved business continuity (51%), customer service (39%) and the enablement of flexible working (27%).

“Businesses are missing a trick and it’s not just about saving money. There’s a clear opportunity to improve processes and enhance the working experience. As work is increasingly becoming a thing you do and not a place you go, IT leaders should grasp the opportunity and embrace the tools and systems that enable a more flexible and productive approach to work.” says Martin Flick, CEO of Olive.

Barriers to adoption

Despite large numbers of IT leaders having heard of converged comms, they point to a number of barriers to adoption that appear to be limiting investment.

According to the research, over half (59%) of businesses with 10-49 employees had heard of converged communications, rising to almost three quarters (73%) amongst businesses with 250-500 employees. In spite of this, less than a third (31%) have seriously considered converging their communications estates.

IT leaders cite perceived issues such as cost (mentioned by 25%) and disruption to current processes (31%) as the biggest barriers preventing their adoption. However, of those businesses that have gone through this process or are currently implementing it, only 7% have experienced disruption to their business.

Flick comments, “Many businesses are cautious about changes to contracts due to potential upheaval, but in reality, the disruption caused by fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) is minimal. Converging mobile and fixed line telephony could be a quick win for SMEs who are looking to both reduce their costs and capitalise on the opportunities of a work anywhere culture.”
The research was conducted in June 2014 amongst 200 IT leaders in UK SME businesses.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine