Innovation is vital for SMEs

Innovation is vital for SMEs

Recent Innovation Champions Report from SAP makes for interesting reading for any SME today

Key points raised in the report

A rate of growth of 22% is the figure businesses are anticipating over the next two years, a slight rise from 20% in 2012.

‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) is often the norm rather than the exception in businesses today

Confidence within SMEs rose from 81% in 2012, to 91% this year

Driving innovation – Improving employee productivity (40%), product development (39%) and more efficient business processes (37%) are the main areas in which technology can drive innovation

Employees being taught new skills (37%), cost (50%) and time required to update systems (41%) are the main barriers to adopting technology

Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) has seen lending to small and medium-sized firms rise significantly for the first time in recent years.

Growth can be achieved quicker with evaluating and challenging business processes, according to 67% of SMEs.

Higher turnovers have been seen by larger organisations who were more successful in meeting their expectations, with 36% exceeding their target.

Innovation is considered the most important factor for achieving growth, followed by management of money & finance and technology.

Juggling work commitments is becoming easier. Indeed, two-thirds (66%) of businesses use mobile technology more than they did 12 months ago.

Key factors including mobile technology has greatly improved 64% of organisation’s productivity.

Lines of business, especially marketing and sales are seen to play a key role in driving innovation and need to be equipped and empowered to use technology to help achieve businesses’ growth ambitions.

Money and finance is a particular challenge for organisations. This is particularly the case amongst small organisations that are shifting their attention towards innovation.

Notably, technology is not being fully utilised to drive innovation across the business.

Over half (53%) of SMEs seek to grow in line with their competitors, with only 27% of companies not concerned whether they grow faster or slower (a group referred to as ‘Stabilisers’) over the next 12 months.

Productivity could be improved through greater integration across all lines of business.

Quality – With greater access to new technologies, businesses are looking to the latest applications to help drive innovation. In doing so, companies report improvements in areas considered important to growth, including greater productivity and more efficient processes.

Recent years has seen the word opportunity in short supply for many small to medium businesses.

SMEs have become more optimistic over the last year, with confidence rising from 81% in 2012, to 91% this year.

Thinking bigger’ refers to organisations’ aspiration for growth, but it also encapsulates an attitude held by businesses to think beyond the confines of everyday business and focus on new and innovative ways to approach old challenges.

Utilising integrated technology across all business lines can drive innovation for SMEs.

“Very confident” is how over one in three (36%) SMEs feel of achieving their planned rate of growth in 2013.

With all objectives, businesses appreciate that growth relies on the strategic implementation of their vision.

Expectations of growth were met by 60% of businesses over the last 12 months.

Year of 2012 saw a strategy of increasing access to finance. Businesses now have the financial structure in place to invest in new and innovative practices to drive growth forward over the next 24 months.

Zero interest in innovation means minimized growth opportunities.

For a FREE download of the ‘Innovation Champions’ report, click here

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