Survey reports mid-sized firms reaping digital rewards

Published:  08 February, 2016

A survey has revealed that mid-sized businesses, with between 50 and 249 employees, have seen greater savings in the their business from investing in digital innovation than smaller firms.

The survey of 5,000 UK small to medium enterprises (SMEs) was conducted by ICM on behalf of the Business Banking Insight (BBI), an initiative supported by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The survey shows that 39% of mid-sized firms believe digital innovation has led to cost savings, compared with just 25% of sole traders. Companies working internationally tend to be more positive about digital innovation; 36% of international companies said it has resulted in cost savings, compared to just a quarter of firms who do not trade across borders.

On average, only one in 10 SMEs invest over 10% of their turnover into their digital capabilities. However, information and communication companies, perhaps by the very nature of their specialism, invest the most – with 30% of firms investing in excess of this. At the other end of the spectrum sit mining, energy, water and waste firms. In this sector fewer than 5% of firms invest over 10% of their turnover in their digital capabilities.

Mike Cherry, FSB national policy director and spokesperson for the BBI, said: “While most businesses appear to be investing comparable levels of turnover into digital innovations, larger firms seem to be getting a better return on their investment. It’s clear that many smaller businesses understand the potential benefits of investing in new technology, but they may need greater advice and support to choose the solutions that best match their individual business needs.”

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