Hyderabad: Small and medium businesses (SMBs) in South India with PCs that are more than four years old and running older operating systems can experience significantly reduced workplace productivity as compared to newer PCs. Not just work efficiencies, older PCs expose organizations to security vulnerabilities and IT threats. Recovering data and maintaining business continuity is among the topmost challenges for SMBs in the South. In the last year alone, 25% of SMBs surveyed in South India said they had experienced a security breach.
Nearly 40% of SMBs in South India are using outdated PCs and more than half (62%) of them are on older versions of Windows. These findings were revealed in the latest Microsoft study in partnership with global SMB IT market research and analyst organization TechAisle, which polled almost 2,000 SMBs across Asia Pacific.
SMBs in the South who have embraced a modern workplace strategy have experienced multiple benefits for businesses and employees, including higher productivity, better security and reduced operating costs.
89% of SMBs in the South saw improved IT efficiency by adopting newer PCs
75% of all SMBs agreed that adopting newer PCs enabled better usage experience through cloud and mobility solutions
91% of SMBs in South India have reduced overall maintenance costs with modern PCs
84% of SMBs in Pune agreed that newer PCs helped them with enhanced security and data protection and 81% benefited from increased employee productivity
“Technology can be a real enabler for businesses, both small and large, and SMBs need to recognise the value that IT investment can bring to their present and future growth. SMBs employ over 110 million people in India, significantly contributing to India’s economic growth. Microsoft wants to work alongside SMBs in India to help them realise their ambitions and succeed in this competitive marketplace,” said Farhana Haque, Group Director – Devices, Microsoft India.
Narrowing the adoption gap
According to the study, the continued delay in SMBs’ adoption of newer technological infrastructure across business functions, was due to factors such as perceived app incompatibility and low awareness of must-have capabilities in new PCs. Three-fourths of SMBs surveyed in South India (75%) said they did not have a PC refresh policy nor were they actively pursuing it.
However, the reality is that the lack of a strategic PC refresh policy can result in greater repercussions in the long run. SMBs in the South have experienced older PCs being repaired almost four times than that of new PCs. This can amount to at least 96 hours’ worth of productive time lost.
To drive their business objectives, SMBs can refresh their older PCs as it provides security patches and regular OS updates for optimized use. Concerns over app compatibility is addressed with Windows 10, the most app-compatible version of Windows-to-date with best practices including app telemetry, ISV partnerships for diagnostic data and troubleshooting as well as looping feedback cycles. With the upcoming Windows 7 End of Support, SMBs need to make their shift towards newer PCs and operating systems as users will no longer receive security updates or support for PCs running on Windows 7. This includes new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, and online technical content updates.