Small firms wasting time on outdated technology » SMEInsider

Small firms wasting time on outdated technology

Microbusinesses are failing to make the most of technology to save them time, a YouGov survey has found.

Almost two thirds (63 per cent) of businesses with one or two employees that were polled said they wanted to boost productivity, but only 33 per cent had a plan in place to achieve this.

The vast majority (82 per cent) of business owners used Microsoft Office products, yet 65 per cent were using an old version of the programmes, meaning they were missing out on the latest tech.


Lack of understanding

The survey was conducted by YouGov among 1,057 microbusinesses, and was commissioned by 123-reg.

Glenn Woolaghan, small business director at Microsoft UK, said: “The survey demonstrates that whilst small businesses are hungry for growth, they don’t always fully understand how technology can assist in their ambitions.

“With functions such as regular updates, additional OneDrive cloud storage and ongoing support, small business owners will be able to bridge the technology gap to gain productivity benefits.”


Top barriers

The survey also questioned respondents on the everyday barriers that prevented them from growing. They included:

  • Managing complex IT issues (85 per cent)
  • Too much time taken up with admin (28 per cent)
  • Managing communications with customers (17 per cent)
  • Traveling to meetings (11 per cent)
  • Tax/National Insurance (9 per cent)

Overall, lack of time was cited as a problem for growth by 17 per cent of respondents, while 31 per cent said they could make more money if they were more productive.


Multi-tasking managers

Nick Leech, digital director at 123-reg, added: “UK micro and small business owners are huge multi-taskers – managing all of the company’s tasks from completing the work, generating new sales and managing accounts and pay roll.

“UK SMBs have already demonstrated they’re digitally savvy by embracing websites and social media in their millions.

“Now, they need to think about how they can save time by embracing technology further so they can focus on the tasks that add the most value to their bottom line.

“By embracing additional tools, they will be able to reduce time spent on unproductive admin tasks and focus on the activities that really drive business growth, such as producing excellent work or networking for new leads.”