Global Research: Tech-savvy businesses grow, differentiate, compete and flex better when they commit to technology

Empowering Youth and Business by Promoting Technology
We live in a digital global economy where competition has become knowledge-based. In modern theories of growth and development, technological innovation has taken the center stage especially when starting a small business. Courtesy Photo.

A third of small businesses that have a significant focus on digitally innovating their business reported growth of more than 10 percent last year

According to new research, almost a third of small business who commit to technology, show and demonstrable growth. ‘The whitepaper’ launched on 6th April, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, titled ‘Tech-Savvy Businesses do it Better’ was commissioned by market and technology leader in cloud accounting, Sage, and conducted by IDC.

With over 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 percent) 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, which include:

Automation drives innovation: Small business owners that are digitally mature dedicate more time to innovation.

  • 32 percent of small business that have a significant focus on digitally innovating their business reported growth of more than 10 percent last year
  • Despite innovation featuring in the top three challenges overall, only 8 percent of small businesses indicated that they spend quality time on innovation; in contrast looking at tech-savvy businesses, this jumps to around 29 percent.
  • Overall, 79 percent of small business owners very much enjoy working for their own business; with this percentage rising to 94 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent of business owners feel they are ‘a bit behind’ their peers in their use of technology with an additional 2 percent feeling that they are ‘far behind’
  • 30 percent say they need to improve on their IT skills to make full use of the IT tools they have

“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,” commented Jennifer Warawa, EVP of Product Marketing, Sage.

“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,” says Anton van Heerden, Managing Director and Executive Vice-President, Africa & Middle East at Sage.

“We have our foot on the pedal and will continue to deliver the solutions to market that our 3 million customers worldwide are demanding,” adds van Heerden.

Driving a world of invisible admin

With the research showing high rewards of adopting technology, Sage is on a mission to drive a world where admin is invisible for businesses of all sizes with world-class cloud products that free business builders up to focus on what is important to them.

To that end, Sage made several announcements regarding the cloud solutions at the Sage Summit Tour Africa & Middle East in South Africa during March: