MYOB’s latest Business Monitor survey of more than 1,000 SMEs has highlighted that SMEs are tuned into the need for digital innovation and are implementing technological strategies to help secure their future success.
The survey found 76 per cent had invested in technology as a means to innovate over the past 12 months, prioritising computer hardware or software, new machinery and up-skilling employees.
The findings also revealed that 78 per cent of SMEs believe advances in technology will affect their business in the next decade, 40 per cent of which expected the impact to be “significant”.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed says the results show the SME community is not frightened by the challenge of technological disruption.
“Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, cutting-edge technology investment,” he said. “Small changes can deliver huge value to a business – whether that measure is time, money or an improved experience.”
In April, additional MYOB research identified that the changing business landscape was an added reason to embrace innovation, with 57 per cent of SMEs believing large global businesses – such as Amazon, which is planning to set up shop is Australia – are also forcing change in the local market.
“The Business Monitor research shows us that SMEs understand the technology evolution underway, and the need to incorporate innovation as a core component of their business, not just an added extra to address when cashflow allows,” Mr Reed said.
The insights found 29 per cent of small business owners thought the cost of introducing and developing innovation was the biggest barrier. Too much government regulation (26 per cent) and a lack of government support (25 per cent) were other blockages holding business back.
The survey also highlighted a spike in SMEs using social media for their business. While it was surprising that only 22 per cent of businesses have a social-media presence, those who had one said it led to more enquiries and 54 per cent said it allowed more interaction with customers. Half of the businesses on social media said it made doing business easier.