The survey included 2,100 executives from SMEs in 21 countries.
Investing in new technologies will be a top strategic priority for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in order to improve operations and compete with larger companies, according to a new SAP-sponsored survey conducted by Oxford Economics.
The survey involved 2,100 executives from SMEs in 21 countries and was carried out on global enterprises, which have an annual turnover between $20m to $750m.
The study found that number of companies anticipating to generate around 40% of their revenue internationally will increase by 36% in the next three years.
The number of companies that do business in six or more countries is expected to increase to 35% in three years from the current 15%.
More than half of respondents say they are forming partnerships with suppliers and other vendors located in countries outside their home markets while the same proportion say they are collaborating with other firms through online business networks and platforms to help drive innovation and growth.
About 40% of SMEs said forming strategic partnerships and alliances as a key challenge as they remake their companies for the global marketplace.
SAP said that two-thirds of all companies surveyed are at some stage of the transformation process, which is expected to help achieve significant changes to their company’s business models, technology, product offerings, or go-to-market strategy.
In the survey, more than one-third of respondents cite creating a culture of innovation as a leading priority in their transformation efforts.
About 46% of respondents said they are hiring employees to support their growth activities.
SAP president of global ecosystem and channels, Eric Duffaut, said the overarching finding of the study was that successful SMEs are going outside of their home market to accelerate growth and by doing so, they face fierce competition from large multinational corporations and more empowered customers in new markets.
"In their new international or even global landscape, business network and latest technology innovations are more and more required by SMEs to evolve their business models and effectively compete," Duffaut said.