State of the digital economy

Digital

From shiny new devices to speedy software and the rise of the cloud, there’s more technology to help businesses succeed than ever. Yet Australian business operators are still hesitant to embrace it.

The latest MYOB Business Monitor, which surveyed over 1000 SMB owners and operators, has found that less than one in four businesses have a website, a figure unchanged since February.

James Scollay of MYOB warns that SMB owners are missing out on significant earning potential by disregarding the possibilities offered by online technologies.

“Businesses that use online technologies are increasingly outperforming their less tech savvy competitors. That’s why it’s vital for government and business leaders to work together with our business community, sharing knowledge about the benefits of embracing the online world and supporting them on their journey. Even the simplest insights can make the world of difference to a business,” Scollay said.

The report found that 12 per cent of businesses with a website also have a social media presence, while another 8 per cent are using only social media. The number of businesses using social media has increased by 11 points to 33 per cent in six months.

The number using cloud technology remained steady at 16 per cent, while those using accounting software rose 3 points to 67 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, start-ups and newer businesses are more likely to be online than their more established counterparts. Also, the number of Gen Y business owners heading online outnumbers baby boomers.

Overall the report found business owners who are embracing technology feel positive about the effect it’s having, and will continue to have, on their business.

Almost 40 per cent of those who run a website and social media are expecting a revenue rise in the next year, compared to just 22 per cent of business owners without an online presence.

Scollay said business owners should take advantage of the many resources available online to learn about how to best implement technologies.

“One third of SMEs are missing out on many benefits, a proportion that is way too high in this digital age. They are in danger of being left behind other businesses that have taken the online leap,” he added.