SMEs could boost efficiency with IT investment

Small businesses could boost their efficiency by over 50% through IT investment, according to independent research, writes Bill Goodwin. Studies by E-skills UK, the public private sector partnership for IT skills and training, show that many small businesses do not understand how IT can simplify the

Small businesses could boost their efficiency by over 50% through IT investment, according to independent research, writes Bill Goodwin.

Studies by E-skills UK, the public private sector partnership for IT skills and training, show that many small businesses do not understand how IT can simplify their operations and help them reach new customers, providing a potential opening for resellers and integrators.

E-skills estimates the economy could be boosted by £97m over the next five to seven years, if 30% more small businesses take up advanced IT.

"Many don't know what questions to ask. When they do ask the questions, they get terribly technical answers, so there is a vicious circle going on," said Martin Harvey, director of UK partnerships at E-skills UK.

Research by E-skills, UK and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, shows IT has helped 89% of small businesses boost efficiency, enabled 85% reach new customers, and helped 72% retain existing customers.

However, many small businesses are too busy focusing on their day-to-day operations to think how IT can help them. They are not convinced of the benefits, said Harvey.

A version of this story originally appeared on ComputerWeekly.com

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