Business and Technology Impact and Outlook
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted any notion of business as usual. From mid-June to early July 2020, SMB Group fielded our SMBs: Navigating a Path Forward study to better understand how small and medium businesses (SMBs) that have managed to sustain their operations are faring amid continuing uncertainty.
We surveyed decision makers and influencers in more than 750 North American SMBs (1 to 1,000 employees) and midmarket organizations (1,000 to 2,500 employees). (Note: For brevity, we refer to the entire range of businesses surveyed in this study as “SMBs.”) At the time of the study, respondents were working for companies that were still in business.
In this infographic, we share key highlights about the business and technology impact of the pandemic and the outlook for SMBs amid the evolving COVID-19 crisis.
Despite tough times, most SMBs will maintain or accelerate technology investments
In SMB Group’s 2019 SMB Digital Transformation Study, 82% of SMBs agreed that using technology effectively is key to their business’ survival and growth.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that although the majority of SMBs said they have been negativelyimpacted by COVID-19, one-third have accelerated their adoption of technology solutions due to the pandemic, and 40% are maintaining investments at previously planned levels. Meanwhile, only 26% are tightening their technology purse strings. This underscores just how essential technology is to business.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement “Using new technology effectively is key to our company’s survival and growth”?
(SMB Group 2019 SMB Digital Transformation Study)
What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on your business to date?
Technology has helped SMB make changes to aid recovery
SMBs have pivoted quickly to tune into new customer preferences, behaviors and expectations. Technology has played a key role in helping SMBs make many of the most frequent changes (such as replacing in-person meetings and events with virtual ones and increasing use of digital marketing channels) as well as the most valuable shifts (including adding no-touch payments, creating virtual service offerings and increasing use of digital sales channels).
SMB that have accelerated tech adoption are more likely to have increased revenues since March
SMBs that have accelerated technology adoption and investments are 42% more likely to have increased their revenues since March than SMBs that decelerated in this area. Furthermore, SMBs that have decelerated tech adoption and spending are 65% more likely to be suffering from revenue declines than SMBs that are speeding up investments.
SMBs that have accelerated tech adoption are more likely to forecast revenue increases in the next 6 months
SMBs that have accelerated their technology adoption and investments are also 36% more likely to forecast that their revenues will rise over the next six months than SMBs that have decelerated in this area. In addition, SMBs that have put the brakes on are 66% more likely to forecast that their revenues will slide when compared to SMBs that are increasing their tech adoption and investments.
Has COVID-19 accelerated, decelerated or had no impact on your technology investments and adoption?
Replaced in-person meetings and events with video conferencing
Changed layout ofphysical locations toaccommodate socialdistancing
Increased use of digitalmarketing channels
Created virtual service offerings to replace physical services
Increased use of digital sales channels
Added “no-touch” payment/transaction options
Implemented scenario planning
Renegotiated vendor contract for more favorable terms
Extended hardware/software refresh cycles to contain costs
Added new supplier and/or distribution partners
Most Frequently Made Changes by SMBs
Plan to make change
No plans to make change
Top Five Changes Rated “Extremely Valuable” by SMBs
Created virtual service offerings to replace physical ones
Added “no-touch” payments
Increased use of digital sales channels
Renegotiated vendor contracts
Developed new products/services
Revenues remained the same