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Artificial Intelligence

More than Half of SMBs Haven’t Adopted Digital Technologies



Accounting software maker Sage announced at Sage Summit US 2017 new research which shows almost a third of small businesses who commit to technology show demonstrable growth. Nevertheless, more than half (56%) of all small business owners interviewed have yet to adopt digital technologies, preferring to maintain their business with traditional methods, signalling a massive opportunity for the cloud accounting and business management software market in coming years.

These findings are part of a whitepaper produced in conjunction with IDC and titled ‘Tech-Savvy Businesses Do It Better’ which looks at how cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence and automation are driving small business forward. Key findings include:

  • Automation Drives Innovation: Small business owners that are digitally mature dedicate more time to innovation
    • 32% of small businesses that have a significant focus on digitally innovating their business reported growth of more than 10% last year
    • Despite innovation featuring in the top three challenges for businesses overall, only 8% of small businesses indicated that they spend quality time on innovation; in contrast looking at tech-savvy businesses, this figure jumps to around 29%.
    • Overall, 79% of small business owners very much enjoy working for their own business; with this percentage rising to 94% among those that use IT very well.
  • Digital Focus Enables Opportunity: With tools to automate and free up time becoming increasingly available, many small business owners are seeing the opportunity.
    • 57% 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% are focused on digitally innovating their business
  • Getting on Track with Technological Adoption: Some small businesses feel they have fallen behind their peers in terms of their use of technology.
    • 13% of business owners feel they are ‘a bit behind’ their peers in their use of technology with an additional 2% feeling that they are ‘far behind’
    • 30% say they need to improve on their IT skills to make full use of the IT tools they have

Driving a World of “Invisible Admin” for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

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

Custom Built for the Needs of Small Business

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.

Sage today also unveiled the latest editions of its cloud accounting products designed to support entrepreneurs in startups and scale up businesses:

  • Sage One with Pegg: The world’s first accounting chatbot accessed by 20,000 users around the globe is now linked directly to Sage One. Pegg acts as a smart assistant, enabling users to track expenses and manage finances through popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Slack.
  • Sage Live – A customizable, and cost-effective cloud accounting solution, built on the Salesforce Lightning user interface, enables customers to manage multiple locations and currencies all in the palm of their hand. Available now on both iOS and Android operating systems in US, Canada, France, UK, Spain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

“This second round of new cloud product releases in 2017 sees us move our customers closer to a professional environment for entrepreneurs where admin is invisible by 2020, freeing up business builders to follow their dreams,” said Nick Goode, EVP of Product Management at Sage. “We have our foot on the gas and will continue to deliver the solutions to market that our 3 million customers worldwide are demanding.”

Sage will be delivering ideas, inspiration and insight as well as showcasing its full suite of business management solutions at Sage Summit and Sage Summit Tour events running across 2017. Click here for more details