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Technology SMEs in need of skills and funding after COVID

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
10 February 2021 1 minute readShare
Technology SMEs in need of skills and funding after COVID

New research from Macquarie Group has found that access to skills and funding will be critical to success in a post-COVID era for SMEs in the technology sector.

According to Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services Group’s inaugural Technology Pulse Check, the top challenges being faced by technology businesses in the next 12 months are accessing growth funds (27 per cent) and attracting key talent in sales, business development and tech support (21 per cent).

During 2020, the research found that 72 per cent of businesses reported growing revenue and nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) turned a profit.

When asked to rate their level of concern around the impact of COVID-19, 55 per cent of respondents reported obtaining capital from private investors as a focus for the next 12 months, compared to 28 per cent of businesses who saw it as a focus of the past 12 months.

Evan Hinchliffe, Macquarie Business Banking Technology Industry lead, said sustainable growth remained an issue, despite nearly three-quarters of the technology businesses surveyed reported growing revenues and almost two-thirds reported turning a profit despite the challenges of COVID-19.

“Despite being among the nation’s most innovative industries, accessing capital is still a significant challenge for technology businesses. But what’s positive to see is that many businesses have recognised this and are doubling down on making it a priority in 2021,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“More than half intend to obtain funding from private investors in the next 12 months, which is close to double the number of businesses who said it was a focus from a year ago.”

Further, while attracting new talent is seen as a key people priority in the year ahead, the research found a third of businesses surveyed (33 per cent) recognised that their approach to managing people was an important gap they need to bridge.

Mr Hinchliffe said there are encouraging signs that technology businesses are starting to place more importance on their people to create supportive and adaptive workplaces, with 93 per cent of businesses reporting they already have a diversity strategy in place and are actively encouraging more diverse teams for their problem-solving abilities.

“We believe Australian technology businesses are uniquely positioned to grow and prosper in the next one to two years. Alongside attracting the right talent and sourcing adequate capital, we’re seeing that a continued focus on people and culture will provide untapped benefits,” he said.

“Not only will it allow them to trade successfully in turbulent and complex conditions, but it will also help pave a path for continued growth and, hopefully, long-term success in a post-pandemic world.”

The Macquarie research is based on a survey of more than 130 technology businesses, the majority of which specialise in areas including enterprise software (SaaS), digital infrastructure and IT services or consulting.

Technology SMEs in need of skills and funding after COVID
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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