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Only One in Five Small Businesses are Open to Digital Transformation

Only One in Five Small Businesses are Open to Digital Transformation
Written by publishing team

Figures from the NatWest ‘Springboard to Recovery’ report show that only one in five small businesses is open to digital transformation, even though it makes them 2.5 times more likely to experience a 20% or more increase in revenue.

This data, which included: research from a survey of 1,000 small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs), analysis of more than 100 reports, as well as results from 50 support programs, found three clear patterns: Technology improves a company’s chances of success and productivity, it correlates with an effective management mindset, Yet very few describe themselves as “open to innovative technologies”.

  • Only 20% of all UK SMEs describe themselves as tech-savvy.
  • Between 2015 and 2019, companies that were open to digital transformation and embracing new technologies were 2.5 times more likely to experience a 20% or more increase in revenue versus companies that were more resistant.
  • If SMEs use two or more technology solutions or tools, they benefit from an average increase of 25% in productivity.
  • 42% of ‘tech open’ SMEs report a high productivity improvement vs 12% of ‘tech closed’ SMEs
  • % of SMEs open to technology report being highly confident in their ability to devise the right business strategy, versus only 11% of companies most resistant to technological change.

Lynne Darcey Quigley, CEO and Founder of Know-it commented:

“Openness to new technologies has always been a cornerstone of entrepreneurial success, and we have seen countless companies fail to reach their growth potential if they resist this change. Likewise, those who embrace new digital tools such as accounting apps, CRM systems, and marketing automation thrive with open arms. New technological solutions can spur significant improvement in productivity, employee and customer satisfaction, and any other factor that can affect business growth — and the data shows this.

The pandemic has only made this more apparent as digital tools such as cloud computing have replaced traditional touch points such as the shop floor or the office. Now, digital adoption isn’t a buzzword — and more an absolute necessity.

The other incredible thing about digital transformation is its ability to snowball – it’s gaining momentum. Not only does it become easier to introduce, adopt and integrate new technology innovations in the future, but it also becomes exponentially more useful.”

Gordon Meirelles, former Managing Director of Entrepreneurship at NatWest, Ulster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland, and now Managing Director of Know-it, comments:

“The pandemic has been a moment of success or failure for small businesses – and those who most readily adopt innovative technologies are at the fore. Given how important small businesses are to the UK economy, improving SMEs’ ​​access to and support for this new technology they need to adopt will be crucial to the Protecting the UK’s economy in the future and ensuring its recovery from the pandemic.

Small businesses account for around 50% of the UK’s total economic output and account for more employment numbers – so creating a thriving and supportive small business ecosystem full of new tech innovations will benefit everyone. Given its position in most supply chains, it will also have an indirect positive impact even for the most prominent conglomerates.”

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