CFOtech Australia logo
Technology news for Australian CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

Avoid the sugar high: Making the most of the government's SMB digital sweetener

By Contribution
Wed 8 Jun 2022

Article by Nutanix A/NZ managing director, Jim Steed.

With the federal election now behind us, small-to-medium businesses (SMB) in Australia still face the same challenges and opportunities they did just a few weeks ago.

In the pre-election budget, SMBs were the major winners with a range of initiatives to increase digital capabilities, uplift local skillsets, and make it easier for SMBs to do business. Many of these programs enjoyed support from both sides of the aisle. 

While all the stimulus measures are important, the small business technology investment boost is particularly potent as it has the potential to transform SMBs in the long term.

When digital is increasingly the default method, SMBs enjoy a bonus 20% tax deduction on expenses that support digital adoption until the end of the next financial year.

This gives local SMBs the perfect opportunity to set themselves up and digitise their businesses. However, to make the most of these incentives, there are a few pitfalls to avoid and lessons to be learned from mistakes larger enterprises have made on their own digital journeys.

Avoid the sugar high

Perhaps the most important thing SMBs can do is take a long-term view of how they want to operate. With strategic investments today, businesses can greatly accelerate the journey to their desired future state.

One thing to consider, particularly when it comes to cloud computing, is how today’s investments will stack up three years from now when the budget support evaporates. 

Once the decision has been made to shift to a cloud operating model, the next questions SMBs need to ask are how do we make the move, how long will it take, and can we accurately predict the budget? 

The hyper-scale public cloud providers make it very easy to move data and applications into their environment but incredibly difficult to move them out afterwards. This has led to a phenomenon in the enterprise space known as ‘cloud lock-in’.

Although it’s impossible to predict what your needs will be years down the track, avoid going ‘all-in’ with a single cloud provider and look for solutions that give you the flexibility to make your own decisions as your needs change.

Seek simple scalability

Data is growing at an exponential rate. According to IDC, the rate of data-driven interactions will increase 20-fold in the next decade.

Whatever your needs are today, they will be much higher by the time the budget sweetener runs out.

One of the biggest challenges businesses face today is wrangling these ever-growing data volumes. As more and more customer interactions happen online, unstructured data will only become more difficult to manage.

With that in mind, SMBs should seek solutions that easily scale as their business grows.   

Value visibility

There are so many insights waiting to be uncovered within unstructured data. Still, many SMBs lack the visibility to understand what data they have – let alone begin to analyse it.

The legacy data infrastructure many SMBs use today is effectively black holes. Once data goes in, there’s zero visibility into where it’s come from, who’s using it, or even what it is.

To kickstart any digital transformation journey, it’s critical to think about how you can best put your data to use. Whether uncovering customer insights, automating business processes, or improving internal efficiencies, it all starts with understanding your data.   

Prioritise security

Ransomware and malicious cyberattacks are some of the biggest risks businesses face today. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, cybercrime costs the Australian economy $3.5 billion each year.

Any digital infrastructure decisions need to be made with cyber security front and centre.

The ‘crown jewels’ of any business today is its data. Without access to data, it is impossible to operate.

Unfortunately, many Australian businesses have learned this the hard way over the past few years as the legacy infrastructure they relied on didn’t stand a chance against sophisticated attackers.

One of the most fundamental cyber hygiene practices SMBs should practice is encrypting their data ‘at rest’. Given the small IT teams and limited technology budgets many small businesses operate with, a data storage platform that automatically encrypts data can help protect the business from external and internal threats.      

Consolidate skills

Any digital investment is only as good as the people using it. If staff need to learn a whole new set of skills to manage a new platform – or if it is overly complex – all the promised benefits may never be realised. 

This is particularly true of cloud platforms. Whether AWS, Azure, or Google, each cloud has its own idiosyncrasies and nuances that require significant training to manage effectively.

Nutanix’ recent Enterprise Cloud Index found that 51% of organisations will use two or more public clouds in the next 12 months. 

For SMBs who see the cloud as their future operating model, an initial step during this period of Government generosity should first be to implement a smaller-scale private cloud that remains under their control.

Not only will this give them the flexibility to choose how and where they operate in the future, but these platforms can also act as a Rosetta Stone between public clouds. Once skilled in managing this platform, the same interface can be used to manage any number of other cloud environments.  

This year’s Federal Budget has given SMBs a real opportunity to set themselves up for a digital future. While it might be tempting to rush headlong into investments that answer the business's immediate needs, the last thing you want to do is make long-term architectural decisions based on short-term budget measures. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Digital wallets
NFTs are ready to disrupt the ticketing world
The last few months have seen NFTs wielded by digital creators to take ownership over their craft and content. Now other industries are beginning to understand the real-world value that these nifty decentralised tokens can provide.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
3D Printing
Fleet Space, Konica Minolta partner for 3D printer offering
Fleet Space has partnered with Konica Minolta to implement 3D printers from 3D Systems to support the commercial small satellite manufacturer’s offerings.
Story image
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
One in five Aussies never reimbursed for work expenses
A new survey has exposed Australian employee job dissatisfaction, with many being left out of pocket for work expenses. 
Story image
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Martech experts reveal the “buzz” on personalisation
In the digital age, innovative technology must be leveraged to power an efficient and effective relationship marketing strategy.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
The Access Group
Increasing headcount isn't always the best way to grow. A good financial strategy can help solve many issues, and The Access Group shares the secret to success.
Link image
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
Adobe survey reveals link between brand trust and consumer buy-in
Adobe has announced results from a study, which finds a strong correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour.
Story image
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
How organisations can prepare for a post-pandemic workforce
The so-called 'new normal' office looks different to how it did pre-pandemic, and organisations need to take steps to better manage their post-pandemic workforce. 
The Access Group
Health and social care organisations are currently under significant financial pressure. Find out how financial transformation can help provide an effective route forward.
Link image
Story image
Data ownership
Brands must reclaim trust by empowering data ownership
According to Twilio's new State of Personalisation Report 2022, 62% of consumers expect personalisation from brands, and yet only 40% trust brands to use their data responsibly and keep it safe.
Story image
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Google Cloud launches new Digital Accelerator bundles for Aussie SMBs
The new bundles are designed to help Australian small and medium-sized businesses embrace digital transformation and take their businesses online.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Corpay announces new collaboration with Triterras
Corpay and fintech firm Triterras have announced a new collaboration between Corpay’s Cross-Border business and Triterras Inc.    
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
New Relic
How to tackle the great brain drain in the tech industry
Attracting and retaining tech talent in Australia and New Zealand is becoming increasingly challenging, with the 2022 Hays Salary Guide showing a startling 91% of employers facing a skills shortage.
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
The Access Group
Struggling to understand which transformative technologies will help your business? The Access Group provides a look into key opportunities and impacts for finance.
Link image
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well.