New tech tools could save SMBs billions of dollars in wasted productivity

Tech fails
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Thousands of small and medium-sized businesses could save countless hours of work and billions of dollars in productivity (opens in new tab) if they digitally transformed more of their manual processes, new research has said.

A report from Dropbox and Enterprise Nation based on a poll of 900 UK SMB leaders found SMBs could save up to 150 hours each year, equating to $11 billion in saved time. 

Many business owners (77%) already use plenty of digital tools, but that’s far from what they could be using, the report argues. To get there, they will need more expert advice, more information, and higher budgets. In fact, cloud computing, video conferencing, e-signatures, project management (opens in new tab) tools, and various other productivity tools (opens in new tab) - are all technologies that could be adopted by a much wider percentage of SMBs in the country. 

The government's role

One of the key steps to achieving these goals is access to information. Only a third (34%) of businesses with 1-10 employees say they are very active when it comes to keeping up with technology trends, compared to 66% of businesses with 50-250 employees. 

With 5.7 million businesses in the SMB category, this makes up 96% of all UK businesses, and present an “enormous untapped potential”, the report concluded.

The government also has a role to play, with the likes of the Help to Grow. Digital program providing an opportunity to expand success and help thousands more businesses across the country improve their digital performance.

“UK small businesses have been held back by lack of information about products and services, entry-level deals and free tier products, as well as new tools and services that can help them push their business to the next level," said Andy Wilson, Director, Dropbox UK.

"As time-poor small business owners, we cannot expect them to navigate this complex landscape without guidance, which is why we partnered with Enterprise Nation to research this issue and present a set of recommendations, for industry, the government, and business owners themselves." 

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.