How do small businesses compete with their bigger counterparts? How are they supposed to close the gap when they’re at a financial disadvantage in the first place? After all, it’s the corporations with massive budgets that have time to invest in innovation, while small companies have to focus on meeting daily operational domains.

It’s a paradigm that is tricky to figure out. Indeed, many small businesses struggle to identify opportunities to catch up. But as a survey from Sage featured on finds, it’s not impossible. The results from the survey show that comapnies have two main focuses: finding talent and embracing technology.

Finding talented employees is invaluable to any business, big or small. People and the ideas they bring to a company are often the driving force behind organizational success. But often times, technology is required to empower and emable people to have a positive impact. This connection of talented people and digital technology is the nexus of growth.

As the synopsis of the study points out, “62 percent of respondents told Sage that access to digital skills (including the ability to operate mobile tech) would have the most impact on their businesses through the next year.”

Particularly, the ability to effectively use mobile and cloud technologies is something employers are looking for. Using these tools vastly reduces overhead costs, and promotes efficient processes that any size of business can implement. Those familiar with these platforms are beneficial, while those that can implement and improve them add another layer of value.

Many businesses – more than half – also anticipate that artificial intelligence will become more important to operations. Many respondents were skeptical that AI can perform important tasks to the same level as human employees, but most agree that automation can save a significant amount of time.

Businesses feel that they must embrace technologies and take advantage of the benefits they offer. Opportunities to reduce the need for manpower while also reducing costs are not ones that small businesses can afford to pass up.