New research from MYOB Business Monitor shows SME innovation is a high priority for Australian businesses, led by technology based improvements. As reported in ARN, the MYOB study found that hardware & software, cloud computing and social media, are some of the key areas for SMEs investment.
MYOB Business Monitor's bi-annual national survey takes a snapshot of the economy from 1,000 Australian SME owners.
Over the last 12 months alone, 31% of respondents invested in new computer hardware or software.
MYOB Chief Technical Officer, Simon Raik-Allen, said the figures show that now is a crucial time for businesses to innovate.
“Knowledge is recognised as the key to Australia’s future prosperity.
We need to keep adding to our collective skills base to remain relevant and competitive, especially when the Business Monitor showed SME confidence in the economy is uncertain for the next 12 months.”
Cloud computing is at the centre of SME innovation
At least 40% of Australian SMEs are operating in the cloud in some way. This is leaving a majority of Australian SMEs in the dark, losing out on time saving and process simplification opportunities offered by cloud technology.
Technologies like the cloud-based Power BI allow businesses to learn more about how their business operates. Ongoing business improvement through technology presents an opportunity to innovate continually.
Building a social media presence was also an identified as an area for future investment. Raik-Allen pointed out 30% of businesses with an active social media presence reported more leads or customer enquiries.
Barriers to SME innovation
Australian SMEs pointed the finger at two barriers to innovation, costs (28%) and government regulation (23%).
However Raik-Allen said while access to investment is a barrier for some, the Turnbull Government's focus on innovation is breaking down the barriers of costs and regulation.
"The Turnbull Government has placed innovation at the centre of its policy platform, including addressing regulatory barriers around start-ups and encouraging investment in R&D."
Technology is innovation
The results of the MYOB Business Monitor's survey also reflects some trends in IT we're already witnessing. The decentralisation of tools, digital mesh and broadly focusing on technology with a "start-up" mentality are all part of how technology can drive innovation.
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