Payroll Software and People Management blog

Mobile technology has the power to liberate, not enslave

Posted by Sage MicrOpay on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 11:46 AM


One of the most exciting things about technology is its power to divide opinion. Whether it’s the sustainability of wearables or the iPhone versus the Galaxy, everyone has a view. And as technology evolves and beds into people’s lives, so people’s views evolve.

For some people, mobile technology is changing the way they live their lives for the better, liberating them at work and at home. For others, it’s the complete opposite – they feel like they can’t escape their mobile and that technology is in charge. 

Whichever side of the debate you sit on, one thing is clear – mobile technology is completely changing how small and medium-sized businesses operate. Today an estimated 4.5 billion of us worldwide are using a mobile phone, of which about 2 billion are smartphones.

At Sage, we believe that mobility is a disruptive force for good. It helps balance your life, it connects you with customers and it can put you in control of your business.

According to our latest Sage Business Index, SMEs embracing mobile working tend to come from emerging economies, such as Brazil, South Africa and Malaysia. Cheap smartphones – some less than $50 – are flooding emerging markets, leapfrogging cost and infrastructure barriers to connect a new generation of consumers and businesses to the Internet. 

However, SME leaders in established economies such as France, Germany and the UK fear that the lines between their business and personal lives are becoming blurred. In Australia we sit pretty much in the middle, with 47% thinking that mobile business has had a positive effect on their work/life balance while 21% believe it has had a negative effect.

By failing to take advantage of new ways of working, businesses in the developed world risk missing a huge opportunity.

We believe that mobile technology should enable your business, not disable your life. Business owners have to make sure they are the boss, and not be commandeered by the demands of their smartphone or tablet. Just because it’s possible to work from anywhere, doesn't mean that you have to. Mobile provides the flexibility to spend more time with your family, doing the things you want to do, and helping to balance your life - including switching off emails at the dinner table.

The truth is that if you get the balance right, the rewards are great.

Mobile technology is helping business leaders to run smoother operations, drive innovation and access new markets. New productivity apps, for instance, are transforming how businesses do what they do, and the speed with which they do it. The rise of ecommerce is being accelerated by people shopping on the move. This change has been fuelled by mobility and represents a huge opportunity for small businesses to sell to customers wherever they are.

Mobile has come of age. It’s not an emerging trend, it’s a live reality. Entrepreneurs that have embraced this change are enjoying the rewards, at work and at home, and they’ve got happier customers and stronger businesses as a result.

Those that haven’t, now risk being left behind. 

Topics: Australian business, mobility, Mobile technology, workplace mobility

New study shows two thirds of Australian businesses are more optimistic and predicting growth in the next twelve months

Posted by Sage MicrOpay on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 @ 10:42 AM

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Australian businesses are confident about their prospects for growth with the majority predicting an increase in turnover in the next twelve months, according to research  published by The Sage Group Plc. The annual Sage Business Index surveys close to 14,000 small and medium sized businesses in 18 countries around the world, and for the first time Australian businesses have been included in the global survey.  

For the first time in four years, businesses around the world are also more optimistic than pessimistic, with scores rising above 50 across all three areas surveyed: their own prospects; their national economies; and the global economy. 


Australian businesses are optimistic about their own prospects scoring their confidence at 63.71 points out of 100. They are more confident than many other countries when it comes to their national economy scoring it at 54.52, 2.89 points above the global average. Similarly, confidence in the global economy was 2.47 points above the global average at 54.15. This suggests that Australian business decision-makers believe that both the national and global economies are improving rather than declining. 

Predictions for growth 

Australian business optimism also resulted in predictions for growth over the coming year. Over half of businesses (53%) anticipate their turnover will grow by an average of 0.6% in the next year. Australian small and medium sized businesses also expect to increase headcount by 2.7% over the next year, 0.7pp higher than the global average. 

Attitudes to risk

Australian businesses are also seen to be more open to risk. Over half of business decision makers (53%) described themselves as risk-seekers, 4% above the global average of 49%.

It’s encouraging to see this positive business outlook from small and medium Australian businesses which has buoyed the nation’s business growth expectations and appetite for risk. This is an important indicator as taking risks often paves the way for new innovation. 


Among the most confident Australian businesses were those with operations beyond their domestic market. Nearly half of those surveyed (42%) currently do business in countries outside their own, stating that exports account for 21% of turnover on average. Indeed, exporters say the last year has been a strong year, with 41% seeing their level of exports increase and just 11% saying they have fallen. Furthermore, businesses expect export turnover to increase in the next year by 3.5%.

However, many Australian businesses do not feel they are supported in their ambitions to grow their exports. Less than a fifth (19%) say they receive the support they need from government, with over a third (34%) saying the one thing the government should do to help them grow exports is to provide greater financial incentives.  

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Topics: Australian business

Staff and Workplace Mobility Improve Business Productivity.

Posted by Sage MicrOpay on Wed, Jun 05, 2013 @ 03:16 PM

Sage Australia Business IndexStaff mobility is now mainstream in Australia with half of all businesses stating it is conceivable for their staff to work away from the office. Close to nine in ten (88 per cent) of these organisations have introduced policies to enable staff to work from home or away from the office, but for the majority (60 per cent) the policies remain informal rather than formal. 

Almost two-thirds of businesses with a staff mobility policy confirm the policy is delivering business value. One-third reports a tangible return on investment (ROI), while almost three in ten say they are realising intangible benefits such as improvements in staff satisfaction, morale, a reduction in absenteeism and improved productivity. These are among the major findings of the Sage Australia Business Index 2013, a study of Australian business attitudes, concerns and trends.

Large and medium sized organisations are most likely to say they could theoretically have a mobile staff policy (97 per cent and 81 per cent respectively). Medium businesses are the most likely to act on this potential, with three-quarters of those who believe staff mobility is feasible, enacting a formal or informal policy. This compares to six in ten (62 per cent) large businesses. Only one in eight (12 per cent) organisations does not allow staff mobility other than in extenuating circumstances. 

Email is the most commonly used application when working at home or away from the office, followed by company file shares, drives and servers; company knowledge management and collaboration tools; accounting systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

The willingness to embrace mobility appears to be driven by weakening performance and business confidence among Australian businesses in 2013 compared to 2012. With an expectation of leaner times ahead, large numbers of Australian companies of all sizes are turning to staff and enterprise mobility initiatives as a means of achieving productivity improvements. 

Mobile enabling the business

Beyond the question of allowing staff to work away from the office, the Sage Australia Business Index 2013 found that Australian businesses are also increasingly mobile enabling the workplace to facilitate connections between systems, staff, customers and suppliers.

Over half (53 per cent) of all Australian companies and eight in ten medium sized businesses believe mobile enabling the workplace is relevant to their business. Two-thirds of these organisations have, or are currently implementing mobile enabled workplace systems. Among the remaining one-third, six in ten plan to implement mobile enabled systems within the next 24 months.

The majority of businesses that have implemented, or are implementing, a mobile enabled workplace are using mobility to connect staff with each other, share business data between staff and to connect with customers and suppliers in real time. 

Businesses that are engaged in enterprise mobility say their strategies are advanced, working well and more than half are seeing some form of value or return. The two core perceived benefits are improvements in staff productivity and communication, both of which out-ranked the more directly measurable benefits of business cost reduction and revenue gains.

The research provides insightful outcomes in relation to the benefits that have been enjoyed by businesses that embrace mobility technology in the workforce. Sage MicrOpay’s Meridian ESP Mobile solution has been designed and developed for today’s workforce and helps businesses and employees stay nimble and efficient. To find out how we can assist you to become more mobile with your workforce, click here

Download your copy of the Sage Australia Business Index 2013

Topics: employee self service, Australian business