Almost a third of small business who commit to technology show demonstrable growth, according to the whitepaper, “Tech-Savvy Businesses do it better” commissioned Sage, and conducted by IDC.
With more than 1-million new customers following Sage to the cloud in 2016, it is clear that small businesses are beginning to see the advantages of technology. Nevertheless, the research shows that over half (56%) of all small businesses interviewed have yet to adopt digital technologies – preferring to maintain their business with traditional methods, despite the rewards shown in the findings.
These rewards include:
Automation drives innovation: Small business owners that are digitally mature dedicate more time to innovation.
* 32% of small business that have a significant focus on digitally innovating their business reported growth of more than 10% last year.
* Despite innovation featuring in the top three challenges overall, only 8% of small businesses indicated that they spend quality time on innovation – this jumps to 29% for tech-savvy companies.
* Overall, 79% of small business owners very much enjoy working for their own business; with this percentage rising to 94% among those that use IT very well.
Digital focus enables opportunity: With tools to automate and free up time easily available, many small business owners are seeing the opportunity.
* 57% of the respondents see new digital business models as an opportunity for their business with 1/4 of the total calling it a “significant opportunity”.
* Also, over 57% are focused on digitally innovating their business.
Getting on track with technological adoption: Some small businesses feel they have fallen a little behind their peers in terms of their use of technology.
* 13% of business owners feel they are ‘a bit behind’ their peers in their use of technology with an additional 2% feeling that they are ‘far behind’.
* 30% say they need to improve on their IT skills to make full use of the IT tools they have.
Jennifer Warawa, executive vice-president: product marketing at Sage, says: “With the stakes high for business owners, Sage are solving for our customers’ needs with the following outlook. We want to make the cloud a reality for businesses of all sizes, without the need for them to migrate from their much loved Sage business management solution. We want to give our customers mobility choices and enable them to work from wherever, whenever in a way that that suits the way they run their business. Above all, these solutions need to be cost effective and part of the journey that our customers experience as they grow their businesses – we don’t want growth to be prohibited by difficult choices.”
Anton van Heerden, MD and executive vice-president: Africa & Middle East at Sage, adds: “More and more African business builders are embracing mobile technology and the cloud to streamline red tape and to improve the agility of their businesses. Over the next three years, it will be exciting to see how innovations such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will turn Sage’s vision of invisible admin into a reality. Our mission is to make admin seamless so our customers can focus on the stuff that really matters: growing their businesses and delighting their customers.”