Faizel Patel – 19/03/2021
The country General Manager at Lenovo South Africa Thibault Dousson says while small and medium businesses (SMBs) have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which are struggling to ensure continuity, let alone achieve sustained growth,the news is not all negative.
Dousson says there are many examples of entrepreneurs rising to the challenge and tackling the unexpected head-on.
“SMBs who move quickly to take advantage of new technology business models are not only keeping afloat, but are actually thriving.”
According to an article by the World Economic Forum (WEF), SMEs make up 90% of formal businesses in South Africa.
Dousson says these businesses contribute 34% to the country’s GDP, and employ up to 60% of the labour force.
“It’s for this reason, it is crucial that these small businesses continue to embrace technology and digital solutions in order to sustain employment opportunities in the small business sector to help bolster the country’s ailing economy.”
Dousson says adopting managed services is not only a time-saver, in the long run, it can also help to keep top talent.
“A Lenovo-commissioned study by Forrester identified that job satisfaction and productivity levels of SME workers correlate directly to their technology tools and devices. Over 80% of respondents who were satisfied with their work devices felt more productive at work – so we cannot overlook the importance of this element.”
Dousson says to enable organizations to be successful, managed services will enable IT related queries from employees to be addressed quickly (and safely) from a distance, just as they ensure that workers from around the country gain access to the right information from the right device as stipulated in well-articulated service-level agreements between the SMB and their appointed managed service providers.
He says with large numbers of employees now working from home, important files and data are being accessed from various endpoints, networks, and devices which are often much less secure than those provided in the office.
“As a result, we are witnessing a dramatic increase in cyberattacks, with cybercriminals taking advantage of remote workers and unsecured endpoints to infiltrate business systems and data. A recent report by iDefense, an Accenture security intelligence company, identified and compiled trends and information regarding cybercrime in South Africa. This report found that South Africa has the third-highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, losing approximately R2.2 billion a year to cyber-attacks.”
Dousson says decision-makers must always think from the viewpoint of not ‘if’ an attack will take place, but ‘when’.