Technology has many benefits for small businesses. It can make your operations more efficient, more productive and can also reduce costs. But does a business’s technology use actually impact its growth? A new study from SAP SE says yes – small and medium enterprises that have embraced digital technology experience faster growth than companies who have not.
The study was a survey of 3,210 small and medium sized businesses with between 10 and 999 employees from 11 countries around the world. The survey asked respondents about their companies’ usage of digital technology and how it impacts the business.
Among the findings, arguably the most important was the link between digital technology usage and growth. One third of all SMBs (and 45 percent of SMBs with between 500-999 employees) say they are “well under way in applying technology to connect people, devices and businesses” – and these companies also saw revenue growth of ten percent or more in the last year. The most popular digital technology in use is collaborative software (used by at least 50.6 percent of SMBs) followed by CRM (38 percent) and business analytics software (37 percent).
Other findings include:
- Over 39 percent of SMBs agree that “active participation in the digital economy will be essential to our company’s survival in the next three to five years.”
- Varying by region, between 52.5 and 60.2 of SMBs say that digital technology helps them streamline operations and improve productivity.
- Despite depending on digital technology, between 35 and 45 percent of SMBs are concerned that their company relies too much on data to make business decisions.
Overall, the study shows that small and medium sized businesses are embracing digital technology and reaping the benefits in terms of business growth. If your business hasn’t made the switch yet, 2016 is the perfect year to hop aboard this important trend. If you’re not sure where to start, you can begin by exploring this list of the top 50 digital technology tools for small business owners.