SMEs embracing Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation agenda; looking to new technologies

Small-Business-Technology-SolutionsAt a time when innovation and technology is dominating the media, political and economic agendas, the latest results from Bentley’s Voice of Australian Business Survey show Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are looking to invest in technology, automate business processes, and ultimately turn their attention to innovation.

 Small-Business-Technology-Solutions

At a time when innovation and technology is dominating the media, political and economic agendas, the latest results from Bentley’s Voice of Australian Business Survey show Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are looking to invest in technology, automate business processes, and ultimately turn their attention to innovation.

The national survey of SMEs across all industries and regions shows more than a quarter (28%) of SMEs are looking to invest in new technologies to grow their businesses, compared to just 16% who were considering a move to the cloud less than 12 months ago.

Andrew Pearce, Partner, McLean Delmo Bentleys, said it’s encouraging to see SMEs looking to embrace technologies that can help systemise some of the time consuming, administrative duties of being a business owner. In turn, businesses are then freed up to turn their attention to product or service innovation, which can help them to ultimately improve their bottom line.

"We have seen the potential for SME investment in cloud services and technology rise dramatically recently, not in short due to the consistent dialogue around automation, and innovation.

“Savvy SMEs are realising technology has the potential to streamline the day-to-day role of business owners and give them back the flexibility to grow the business rather than be bogged down in the necessary administration,” said Mr Pearce. 

According to the survey, an overwhelming 87 per cent of SMEs predict an uptake in their business across areas of growth, investments and innovation in the coming year. Almost half of all businesses surveyed (47%) expect to acquire new customers within the next year, with 39 per cent expecting a growth in profit margins. At the same time, innovation is squarely back on the radar with almost a quarter of those surveyed (24%) saying they will look to innovate through the introduction of new products and services.

With expectations of growth in key areas of their business, more than half (59%) of Australian SMEs have expressed confidence in business forecasts for the next 12 months, with 25 per cent citing extreme confidence in their businesses. However, these figures drop when looking at micro, and non-metro businesses where 21 per cent of micro and 16 per cent of non-metro businesses expressing concern for the future of their livelihoods.

Mr Pearce, said the findings from the survey are very encouraging in terms of growth prospects, but reveal that there is more work to be done to ensure micro and non-metro businesses also continue to prosper and are allowed the same opportunities for innovation as larger businesses. 

“Micro businesses account for a large portion of the economy and we cannot afford to bypass them when developing policy. Resources need to be available for all SMEs so that they too can continue to operate in today’s increasingly competitive market,” concluded Mr Pearce.

 

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