Early adopters beating recession, says BT
Businesses keen on embracing new technologies are suffering less as a result of the recession, according to research released to coincide with BT’s Small Business Week.
BT’s 2009 Business Pulse report found that early adopters had a 69% better than average experience of the recession. Laggards claimed a 34% worse recession experience than the average experience.
The reported quizzed 7,200 SMBs across the UK and found that 30% of businesses have saved money through the use of technology while 28% said they have found new customers through technology innovation.
Speaking to CBR at the launch of Small Business Week, Mick Hegarty, strategy director at BT Business, said that the technologies SMBs are embracing cover a wide spectrum. “The businesses we talk to wouldn’t have too much of an opinion on cloud computing,” he said, “but we’re talking about the use of broadband, the web, social networking, mobility, communications platforms. Those customers who have a positive attitude to it and applying it to their business are succeeding.”
The report also revealed that twice as many technology adopters have seen an increase in turnover of more than 10% compared to those small businesses reluctant to embrace new technology. Those failing to embrace technologies are more likely to have seen their revenue decrease during the recession.
Hegarty also heads BT’s Tradespace, the firm’s social networking initiative, which enables businesses to improve their online presence while networking with other businesses and potential customers. The survey found that 32% of SMBs are using technology as a way of networking, with the emphasis on external communication, Hegarty said.
“They are using Twitter, Facebook and online forums as a way of getting heard and standing out,” Hegarty told CBR. “SMBs are natural networkers.”
The report also found that SMBs were more confident that the end of the recession is in sight, with most predicting an upturn in 2010.
Lord Digby Jones, who spoke at the launch, said: “The Business Pulse highlights that optimism is on the rise. Equipping firms with the right technology and support will help tip the economy from recession onto the road to recovery in 2010.”