5 technologies that could supercharge micro business productivity in Britain
UK micro businesses are sitting on a 16.6bn digital dividend, according to new research claiming greater adoption of technology could unleash unprecedented levels of productivity.
As part of the largest ever study? of Britain’s micro businesses, the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) found that doubling the adoption of digital technology could bring a 16.6bn dividend to the UK economy.
The potentially huge boost to productivity at the country’s smallest firms could shift their reputation of being a “drag” on UK productivity, the study claimed.
Meanwhile, ERC academics said their findings could have far-reaching consequences on how policymakers and business groups communicate the benefits of digital adoption to startups and already-established firms.
Researchers detailed how the five technologies could be crucial in unlocking micro business productivity.
Use of cloud-based computing leads to an increase of 13.5% in sales per employee (a proxy for productivity) after three or more years.
Customer Relationship Management software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software use adds 18.4% to sales per employee over three years.
Ecommerce adds 7.5% to sales per employee over three years.
Online accounting software
Web-based accounting software leads to an increase in sales per employee of 11.8% over three years.
Computer-aided design (CAD)
CAD leads to a 7.1% increase in sales per employee.
Use of digital technologies has grown rapidly among UK micro businesses in recent years, with firms using cloud computing growing from 9% in 2012 to 43% in 2018, and web-based accounting software growing from 15% to 42% over the same period.
However, the study found that around a quarter of UK micro company owners are currently making no use of digital technologies whatsoever, while a further quarter use only one of the above.
Commenting on the findings, Stephen Roper, director of the Enterprise Research Centre, said the study was the first evidence? of the value of digital adoption to micro business productivity in the UK.
“There’s a clear digital dividend? for the productivity of our smallest firms from adopting certain technologies and these effects increase with the number used, ” Roper explained.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.
Being productive in business today depends on the software you use. Some business productivity apps can make you and your organisation more efficient, but some can become a waste of time, and be more trouble than they're worth. more»
Writing for Business Advice, food industry expert Anx Patel explores how technology is enabling independent restaurant businesses to thrive at a time when many big players are closing their doors. more»
The landscape of the modern office has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, with huge tech firms leading the way in pioneering new layouts for the office. But are sleeping pods, slides and ping pong tables really conducive to productivity? more»