How SMEs can capitalise on productivity-boosting communications tools

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Douglas Grierson, Vodafone’s Head of London, Regional Business, explains why SMEs are missing out on productivity-enhancing ICT tools – and some starting points for unlocking growth.

We all want to get more out of the resources we’ve got. If you’re keen to boost business productivity, but you’re unsure where to start, you’re not alone. Adopting the right information communications technology (ICT), when combined with improved managerial practices, can lift productivity by as much as 20%, according to a report by the London School of Economics (LSE). But many SMEs miss the opportunity to capitalise on digital communications. Here’s why.

Three-quarters of managers – especially in SMEs – are not aware of the ICT tools that promote productivity, according to the LSE study. Even when managers do know about their digital options, more than two-thirds aren’t sure whom to turn to for assistance, the LSE found. Most managers believe they need to recruit expensive consultants or hire an IT manager, but smaller firms may not be able to afford additional staff. As a result, these SMEs are missing out on the productivity-enhancing potential of ICT.

At Vodafone UK, we are working to make ICT adoption easier for UK companies. A critical first step is to undertake a review of your business. The importance of self-assessment is highlighted in “The Power of Productivity”, a report on UK productivity levels prepared by the LSE and commissioned by Vodafone UK. In this report, the LSE urges businesses to take advantage of a variety of self-analysis tools as a starting point to assess performance and identify areas to improve.

Because we believe the task of self-assessment should be as simple as possible, we created the Vodafone Ready Business Indicator, an easy-to-use online diagnostic that helps you determine how well your business is performing across four pillars: connecting with customers, connecting with your staff, operating your business and planning for the future. The Indicator enables you to benchmark your business readiness against other similar companies, and suggests a range of ICT options to match your responses to the survey questions.

The LSE report also suggests three ways UK businesses can boost their productivity – by capitalising on ICT, for example. At UC Expo, I’ll be on hand to share insights and best practice around unified communications, and I’ll dive into key findings from the LSE report. I’ll also be giving a talk about how we can rethink work as we know it. I’ll be presenting steps that you can take today to bring new gains to your organisation. I look forward to seeing you at the Expo!

For more information about Vodafone’s unified communications solutions, please visit: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/business/solutions/integrated-solutions/index.htm

To register for the conference, please visit: http://www.ucexpo.co.uk/Register/?utm_source=UC17VOA

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