Small businesses are hindering their ability to grow by not looking into how digital technologies can improve the way they work, according to a recent report. Here's what you need to know.
The ACS, CSIRO and other commercial collaborators analysed existing employment data across organisations of all sizes and interviewed a range of experts in this area to release the Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce report.
According to the paper, employment and wages in the small business sector is shrinking in Australia partly as a result of the economic downturn in 2009. There has been a flat growth of small businesses after the global financial crisis although survival rates of these smaller companies have increased thanks to the reduction of competition.
Today, advancements in digital technology have disrupted traditional business models and leveled the playing field for small businesses. Access to things like cloud services means smaller companies can compete with the bigger end of town. Technology also lowers barriers to entry for start-ups, giving them opportunities to experiment with new business models.
The problem is small businesses are not seeking out these new digital solutions that they can take advantage of, according to the ACS and CSIRO report:
"Deciding on precisely how to make the most of the multitude of digital opportunities can seem overwhelming and complex. Subsequently, many businesses fail to investigate and scrutinise the available opportunities or opt to employ a 'wait and see' approach, neither of which are realistic in today’s competitive climate."
Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCooper estimated that businesses can unlock an additional $49.2 billion in the private sector over the next decade if technologies are used to their full potential.
"The growth and far-reaching impact of the digital age offers innovative opportunities to create new sources of value, new markets, new niches and a new breed of workers," the report said.