SMEs in APAC were least fazed by the pandemic, finds SAP

September 14th, 2020 – Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are in a unique position to adapt to the changing workplace this year.

At least, that was what was uncovered in a new Oxford Economics study commissioned by SAP exploring SME readiness for a ‘new economy’.

Among the 832 APAC respondents of a total 2,000 from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea, more than two-thirds (77%) of APAC said they had successfully adjusted to remote working arrangements during the pandemic, taking the edge on European (75%) and North/South American (71%) counterparts.

APAC businesses adjusted well to the technical challenges of switching to remote work. Nearly three-quarters (73%) invested in IT and collaboration tools to support staff who were working from home, including providing adequate training so employees could pick up the necessary skills to operate remotely; 68% responded in developing new channels to distribute products and services during that time.

Many regional businesses pivoted to e-commerce for the first time, and many also looked into establishing supply chain alternatives when traditional routes and supply chain mechanisms were interrupted– 68% of companies in APAC explored new ways to fulfill their supply chain needs.

Many APAC SMEs said they’d made moderate progress toward digital transformation (39%), and 21% have made substantial progress or completely adapted their operations to embrace digitization. Encouragingly, another 19% expect to have completely transformed their business digitally within the next three years, despite the setbacks during the past year.

The findings are reassuring considering the APAC region still lags behind its Western counterparts when it comes to embracing digital transformation initiatives, but there are still challenges to overcome: small businesses in APAC pointed to changing customer needs, stiffer competition from larger organizations, and a quickly evolving marketplace as the biggest external hindrances to the success of their business (40%, 39%, and 27%, respectively).

More…https://techwireasia.com/2020/09/smes-in-apac-were-least-fazed-by-the-pandemic-finds-sap/

Written by Techwire Asia

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