SMEs failing to invest in growth-boosting technology

Small businesses that commit to technology show demonstrable growth – but many are holding back from investing in new innovations, according to a new report.

Research by Sage found that while a third of tech-enabled SMEs grew by more than 10 per cent last year, 56 per cent of small business owners have yet to adopt digital technologies.

While just eight per cent of all small businesses spend time focusing on innovation, the figure jumps to 29 per cent for tech-savvy businesses, the survey found.

79 per cent of all small business owners very much enjoy running their own businesses – reflecting the job satisfaction levels SME Magazine reported last week – and this jumps to 94 per cent among those who use IT well within their SMEs.

More than 57 per cent said they are focused on digitally innovating their businesses, but some small firms feel a bit left behind when it comes to technology.

13 per cent of business owners say they are “a bit behind” their peers in their use of technology, while two per cent say they are “far behind”. 30 per cent say they need to improve their IT skills to make full use of the tools they have.

Technological innovation is driving big change for businesses large and small.

SME Magazine recently reported on the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality, and how SMEs could implement them to improve their sales and customer service.

“If 2016 was the year when the general public became aware of the technology, 2017 is going to be the year when companies really understand the opportunities to reach their respective audiences in ways that were unimaginable a few years ago,” wrote Scott Shillum, head of VisMedia, explaining how the technology will boost businesses.

Meanwhile, technology entrepreneurs dominated the recent Startups Awards, showing just how crucial the sector will be to the future of business in the UK and beyond.

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