Why some small businesses are left out in the cold

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Every business in this day and age needs modern technology to enhance their business, market their brand and generally improve their efficiency. With technology, it allows businesses to compete locally and globally, but a lack of technology can hurt the ability to keep up with competitors.

A new study released by Cisco reveals that inspite of small business owners understanding the benefits for digitisation in their business, the actual cost of enforcing technology is proving to be a problem for many. This leaves many small businesses at a disadvantage when taking on larger competitors.

72% of small to medium businesses think they need to use more technology

Cisco’s study was conducted on over 500 small to medium business owners across Australia. They found that 72% believe their business would benefit from increasing the use of technology to support digitisation.

But 69% feel that incorporating technology into their business is too expensive. While 52% feel limited by their businesses’ lack of technological expertise, research or knowledge.

Similarly, business owners stated that a lack of IT resources and gaps in expertise within their business was another barrier to digitisation. Seven in ten business owners would like more IT expertise brought to their business, with nearly a third (31%) operating their business without any IT resource. While 51% actually rely on an internal technological source, or which 82% are untrained staff members who are good at technology and may not require professional support and advice.

Despite many small to medium businesses not relying on technology, they are also falling behind in the mobility race. A huge 91% of owners are not ‘harnessing true telecommuting technology’ and 38% have the technology to allow employees to work offsite. This is something that has been proven to enhance productivity within businesses.

Tiffany Wright, Director of Commercial Sales at Cisco ANZ, mentioned that the findings identified key losses for small to medium business owners that require attention by IT and technology professionals.

“Embracing the challenges and dealing with the disruption of digitisation requires SMBs to adopt technology that drives growth through competitive advantages such as agility or greater productivity. This is crucial when fighting for business against incumbent enterprises or protecting business from new market entrants.

“The research identifies cost as the number one barrier in making this transition, and lack of resource and expertise are also major pain points for SMBs.”

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