SMEs that maximise digital technology show faster growth

Study reveals more tech-savvy companies enjoy quicker development

Technology such as CRM allows SMEs to compete with larger enterprises.

Technology such as CRM allows SMEs to compete with larger enterprises.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have embraced digital technology show faster growth than companies that have not, according to a study commissioned by SAP.

The research analysed data from 3,210 respondents in 11 countries who work at a company with between 10 and 999 employees.

The study, conducted by IT research firm IDC, indicates strongly that SMEs around the world understand and benefit from the value of analytics, collaborative and customer relationship management (CRM) software to help them run simple and compete with larger enterprises. 

More than 39 percent of SMEs in all regions agree that "active participation in the digital economy will be essential to our company’s survival in the next three to five years".

SMEs that grew revenue 10 per cent or more in the last year, said they are “well underway in applying technology to connect people, devices and businesses” – representing more than one third of all SMEs, and more than 45 percent of SMEs with between 500 and 999 employees in the survey.

At least 50.6 per cent of SMEs across all regions surveyed use collaborative software as a result of their digital transformation, making the technology the most used by SMEs. CRM and business analytics software were the next most used by SMEs, with at least 38 and 37 percent of SMEs in every region using the respective technologies.

Between 52.5 and 60.2 percent of SMEs surveyed said that “new technology solutions have allowed us to begin or continue revising our workflow and processes to streamline operations and improve productivity.”

Rodolpho Cardenuto, president, of global channels and general business at SAP said: "The overwhelming message from this report is that digital transformation has a big impact on small businesses around the world.

'It is proven that companies using these technologies run simpler and grow faster. It is also clear that personal connections and business instincts continue to play an important role in making the right decision. SMEs should think about navigating a digital transformation journey that lets them combine the best of both worlds.”