A 2017 report highlights the increasing importance of technology for small businesses. The report relates the findings from a study commissioned by Google and conducted by Deloitte, and demonstrates a correlation between growth and technological engagement.

The study divided participating small businesses into four group, ranging from the lowest to highest level of digital engagement. The “advanced” group, which encompasses 20 percent of businesses, “Utilize more sophisticated digital tools such as data analytics and mobile apps.” The growth of these companies, on average, outpaced counterparts with basic, intermediate and high levels of engagement.

Small businesses with advanced engagement, “Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly 4 times as high,” as other small businesses. These businesses also added personnel to their organization at a rate six times faster than other participating companies.

Small businesses with advanced technological engagement not only grew quicker than other business, but did so with greater efficiency. For example, advanced small businesses, “Earned 2 times as much revenue per employee,” than did other participating companies.

These findings demonstrate the value that technological assets, like data analytics tools such as ERPs, have on small businesses. Such tools not only save time, but also improve the overall capabilities of employees within an organization. “The analysis found that businesses with increased digital engagement also have higher levels of...innovation and inquiries across the sales funnel.”

For some business, utilizing technologies that spur growth remains a challenge, due to the initial acquisition costs. However, the demonstrated value of digital technology shows it to be an investment worthy of high prioritization. With benefits ranging from growth, to revenue to efficiency, advanced engagement with technologies is rapidly becoming a necessity for small businesses hoping to become major market players.