SMEs could get a whole lot of time back if they fully embraced technology solutions

A man leading a business meeting
(Image credit: Shutterstock/fizkes)

Britain’s small businesses could be wasting up to three and a half working weeks just because they’re not willing to use time-saving technology productivity tools, a new report has claimed.

The Tech Hub-backed study reveals just how few businesses are actually using helping services in the workplace, and the knock-on effects that could be reversed with the use of the right tools.

Tech Hub also reveals three key recommendations to encourage the right kind of transformations, including rewards, incentives, and investment in training.

SMBs aren't using enough of the right tools

The figures reveal a low uptake of software solutions across the board, with 14% using third-party storage and cloud storage for backups and 29% using CRM software. However, Tech Hub has also identified the number one factor holding back seven in every 10 businesses from adopting newer technologies: the cost of software licenses.

Furthermore, only one in three (31%) businesses feel ‘very confident’ that they have the right skills to use the technology, highlighting the desperate need for training and education for both workers and leaders.

Tech Hub says that, with advances in generative AI on the horizon, the UK’s SMB community will miss out on time savings, greater security, evidence-led decision-making, new sales, and business success.

Cisco UK & Ireland’s Managing Director of Small and Medium Enterprise, Aine Rogers, said: "As the world becomes ever more connected, [the right technology] can also enable SMEs to access new markets, tap into new pools of talent and drive innovation by reaching customers in new ways."

Brand, Marketing and Communications Director for Vodafone Business UK, Jo Wedlock, added that the study "highlights the need for Government and technology providers to come together to coordinate support."

In order to help SMBs, Tech Hub has called for financial support and other rewards, similar to Singapore’s Go Digital program and South Korea’s Digital New Deal initiative.

Tech Hub also reckons that targeted tax incentives and subsidies to help initial adoption could be useful, citing the UK’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme which was closed early due to poor uptake.

Finally, the report calls for more investment in training programs to address the lack of skills, which is the second-greatest concern for SMBs.

More from TechRadar Pro

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!