Customer Experience Holds Key to SME Growth, Study Shows
Global SMEs Adopting New Technologies and a Customer-Centric Approach to Fuel Recovery and Growth; Security Remains Top Priority
SMEs are businesses with less than 249 employees (
Customer-centric approach driving growth
Often applauded for a more personalized, customer-centric approach than larger enterprises, the study found that SMEs are continuing to focus on this area, with 74% looking to achieve growth through an improved customer experience and the delivery of value added services. Further, 60% said they plan to adjust business models over the next 18 months to better meet customer demands and stay ahead of the competition. Nearly half (48%) reported that ensuring security for their key applications was their highest priority.
In a competitive business environment, businesses also are increasingly looking for new applications that can help improve efficiency and boost productivity. More than half are focusing on application initiatives that deliver agile, responsive business environments, with 54% planning to deploy new business applications to increase productivity within the next 18 months.
In line with the maturity of the market, SMEs in the US were found to be
slightly ahead of their European counterparts with a greater focus on
implementing Big Data initiatives (48% US v 33%
Cloud services and business applications delivering on customer demands
To meet fast-changing customer demands and deliver tailored applications, nearly two thirds (61%) of US businesses surveyed have implemented or plan to implement cloud infrastructure/services in the near term. As with Big Data initiatives, European organizations are lagging behind the US in terms of cloud adoption, however 39% of European SMEs plan to implement cloud infrastructure/services within the next year.
"Global economic data shows a correlation between a steady SME market
and a stable or recovering economy — we believe this is because SMEs
combine many of the best traits from their large enterprise and start-up
counterparts, offering a mix of reliability, innovation and flexibility
which is best suited for quick growth," said
The IDG Research Services study, conducted between August and
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