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SMBs outpace larger companies in adopting new technologies

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are outpacing big companies when it comes to adopting new technology in their workplaces, according to a new study from Unify.

To gather research for its “Way We Work Study” the communications technology firm surveyed over 5,000 knowledge workers, whose job it is to “think for a living”, at SMBs from the UK, US and Germany. The study found that 60 per cent of SMBs surveyed now utilise on-demand tools, internet or cloud-based technology, in their day to day operations.

Many of the knowledge workers at these organisations expect to see significant changes in their jobs over the course of the next five years. 38 per cent believe that their roles will not exist past that time period and an even greater 64 per cent believe that their jobs will no longer appear as they do now.

SMBs are more likely to adopt newer technologies first to gain a competitive edge on larger enterprises. Email is often used by knowledge workers surveyed with almost three quarters (70 per cent) viewing it as an essential tool. The bring your own device (BYOD) movement is gaining momentum at SMBs where 61 per cent allow their employees to use their own devices which is slightly greater than the 47 per cent of large organisations that do so.

Thomas Veit, General Manager, Channels, EMPAC, Unify highlighted the ways in which the adoption of new technology benefits SMBs, saying: “There is no technological gulf between SMBs and large organisations, and in many cases, SMBs are more progressive, as they are forced to do more with less, be innovative, and nimble. Our study not only shows the huge impact technology has had on the industry, but the fact SMBs are adopting and integrating it into every aspect of their work. The Way We Work Study has confirmed what we have known for some time: growing businesses are more open to trying new technology. It has also established that knowledge workers are defining how, when and where they do their jobs and SMBs are taking notice. To remain competitive, they must put staff at the forefront of their organisation and technology is the key in achieving this.”

The Way We Work Study also found that virtual working has grown in popularity amongst SMBs with 47 per cent of SMB knowledge workers believing the notion of a single office as a physical workplace is an outdated idea.

The hurdles faced by smaller organisations have and will continue to lead SMBs to adopt new technologies in order for their business to grow and succeed. While larger organisations may have more resources, they lack the flexibility needed to meet the demands of today's ever vocal workforce.

Image Credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.