The day isn’t far when Internet connectivity will be considered as a human right across the world. Today, a high speed internet is far more important than certain basic necessities of life. And we often take it for granted, but do we always get fast, reliable and secure connectivity. For SMBs, it is the foundation for business success.

The reality today is digital. SMBs in Southeast Asia are telling me that both employees and consumers are becoming more demanding. I’m sure you’ve gone elsewhere when your web page doesn’t load or update quickly enough — I’ve done it too. You don’t know how many customers you may have lost just because your website is too slow for them.

Both customers and employees want fast mobile-first experiences and reliable Wi-Fi, too. For many in Southeast Asia, a mobile device is the only way they connect to the internet while for others, it’s definitely the preferred way of doing so. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), Asia Pacific’s mobile traffic was 17.4% of total Internet traffic in 2017 and will account for 28.1% of total Internet traffic by 2022[1].

This means SMBs need to support mobile experiences for customer engagements while allowing their employees to work on mobile devices. When mobile is a preferred engagement channel, understanding it well is essential to attract (and retain) a high-quality workforce as well as raising customer loyalty.

But unfortunately, 39 percent of SMBs, surveyed for the Cisco APAC SMB Digital maturity index, do not have digital efforts in place at all. These SMBs are still unsure how they can implement the connectivity that will enable them to take advantage of new opportunities in today’s digital age. Ideally, your networking solutions need to offer reliability, security, and ease of use. They should be interoperable and easily managed, while offering a wide range of options to scale at your pace of growth. Bundled solutions – such as those with Cisco Start – are typically designed to work together well and can give SMBs a head start on the road to intelligent & intuitive connectivity.

According to IDC, by 2021, at least 60 percent of Asia Pacific GDP will be digitalized. This will be driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations, and customer relationships across all industries.

This presents an enormous opportunity for businesses that are able to ride this digital wave. The good news is more than 60 percent of SMBs in Asia Pacific have started to embrace digitalization, which puts them in a good position to be able to leverage the opportunity

Digitally native SMBs across Southeast Asian countries are investing in such solutions. By doing so, they are successful in engaging their customers better, empower employees to be more productive, and react to opportunities faster – ultimately saving money, or helping make more of it.

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Originally Posted at: https://apjc.thecisconetwork.com/site/content/lang/en/id/10335