Konica Minolta research reveals the impact of Covid-19 on small and medium-sized businesses

| 20 July 2021

Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence IT and business operations pain points study reveals depth of security and home working challenges during pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the pain points of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around security and data protection. 48 percent described security and data protection as being their number one IT challenges. 37 percent of businesses said that their employees had experienced virus, malware or security threats due to conditions imposed during the pandemic. As a result of those security issues, 47 percent of companies have acquired or upgraded IT security software or services. The findings were revealed by new research by Keypoint Intelligence ‘Top SMB IT Pain Points & Solutions’, created on behalf of Konica Minolta. It surveyed 550 SMB IT decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to identify their main challenges and pain points relating to technology.

SMBs encountered significant challenges in their effort to enable remote work in the wake of the pandemic: For example, 38 percent of IT decision-makers viewed managing remote work as being difficult or very difficult. For nearly half of SMBs (49 percent), the lack of necessary employee hardware or software was a difficulty associated with home-based working. Similarly, 44 percent of IT decision-makers identified servicing/supporting home workers’ IT hardware or software as a challenge. "As a likely consequence of this, 33 percent invested in managed IT services as a result of Covid-19," sums up Olaf Lorenz, Senior General Manager Digital Transformation Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe.
In terms of day-to-day operations, home working also presented particular challenges relating to team communication and in accessing and collaborating on files: 51 percent of respondents identified communication with managers or other employees as a business operation challenge resulting from work-from-home arrangements. Meanwhile, 37 percent indicated that locating files was an IT challenge associated with working from home, while 30 percent cited digital document collaboration as business operations challenge resulting from employees working remotely. "From these findings, it is clear why 35 percent of SMBs have invested in document sharing and collaboration applications as a result of the pandemic," concludes Olaf Lorenz.

The challenge of remote working spurring digitilisation efforts

Other technologies also saw increased adoption: 45 percent acquired or upgraded cloud data storage as a result of Covid-19, for example. “The challenge of remote working has certainly spurred digitalisation efforts overall. In 65 percent of organisations, decision-makers said that the pressures of the pandemic had accelerated their journey towards greater digitalisation,” adds Olaf Lorenz. A common way to achieve this is to digitise documents.  This is probably why 56 percent of organisations cited scanning initiatives prompted by Covid-19 as drivers for increased digitalisation. Against this background, it is nevertheless remarkable that many SMBs are still heavily reliant on paper-based processes with 42 percent of business content remaining on paper. 49 percent of organisations cited privacy and safety concerns as the main reason for still using paper.

Whitepaper with detailed results available

The whitepaper with in-depth results and further findings is available from Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence.

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The impact of COVID-19 on SMBs

You can read the infographic of the survey´s results here.

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‘The SMB IT and business operations pain points study’ was conducted from February to March 2021 and in collaboration with Keypoint Intelligence. It included 550 SMBs in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. Respondents were in the professional services, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality & leisure and real estate industries. Each of the organisations has 50-250 employees. Respondents included those holding IT and non-IT roles within their organisations.

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation. The company further offers its customers solutions and managed services in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. With regard to its office printing solutions, "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2020 Vendor Assessment" stated that Konica Minolta is "recognised globally as a leader in print transformation". As a strong partner for the professional printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource). Its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R & D laboratories in Europe enable Konica Minolta to bring innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. For its innovative service approach that complements their devices perfectly, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘"Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020/2021" by Keypoint Intelligence. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With approximately 10,000 employees (as of April 2020), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over 2.34 billion in financial year 2019/2020.


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Melanie Olbrich

Expert Corporate Communications


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