A survey conducted by Cisco, the official network infrastructure provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has revealed that although SMEs believe they will have to reassess certain areas of their business ahead of London 2012, nearly half of the companies surveyed have yet to make the necessary preparations.

The survey asked SME decision makers from across the UK about the key areas they would have to consider in light of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The research looked at a range of considerations including staffing and technology.


When asked about the effect London 2012 could have on their businesses, SMEs recognised that staffing could be affected.

· 22 per cent of businesses surveyed expect that London 2012 will directly or indirectly cause them to have less staff on hand
· With increased tourism and travel at peak times during the Games, nearly a third of businesses (29%) are aware that they will have to think more about transport and traffic affecting their staff
· 14 per cent of businesses feel they will have to think more about staff morale and motivation to include their workers in London 2012

To address these possible staffing issues during the Games, 22 per cent of businesses surveyed are considering implementing flexible working procedures during Games time. Promisingly, over half of those surveyed (59%) have either some or all of the necessary collaboration technology in place to offer flexible working, but that still leaves a sizable proportion (41%) without any strategy in place to cope with the possible disruptions the London 2012 Games may cause.

Legacy/ Opportunities

Despite the changes SMEs may have to make in light of London 2012, when surveyed, small businesses still acknowledged both the short and long-term benefits the Games will offer. 36 per cent of SMEs surveyed expect that the Games will generally have a positive effect on UK smaller businesses. Additionally, the survey revealed that small businesses believe that the Games could help increase the number of tourists and customers in the UK and, in the long run, improve infrastructure and road networks.

However, SMEs need to ensure that they have the correct procedures and facilities in place to maximise on this opportunity. To help businesses capitalise on the event, Cisco is hosting a series of free live webinars which will offer advice to businesses on how to be Games ready ahead of London 2012. Visit http://www.ciscolondon2012.co.uk for further details.

Neil Crockett, MD Cisco London 2012, said:

“With so many SMEs still unprepared ahead of the Games, now is the time for businesses to take action. London 2012 can offer many opportunities for UK SMEs, but only if they have the correct business strategy in place. Organisations need to prepare in a wide manner of ways to ensure they are business ready – from evaluating their network infrastructure to preparing for flexible working through effective collaboration technology.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games can and will offer a lasting legacy to those businesses who understand the necessary preparations. With a viable business strategy, alternative travel plans and flexible working in place, London 2012 can help build a brilliant future for businesses next summer and in the long term.”