High growth businesses reveal new technology plans

CPA Australia

6 August 2021

High growth businesses reveal new technology plans

Survey links technology adoption to better business performance.

• Growing businesses focus on technology strategy and recruitment.

• High performers nominate their top tech picks for next 12 months.

Technology use is a major determinant of business success and is set to become more influential, according to a survey by one of the world’s largest professional accounting bodies, CPA Australia.

“High growth businesses spend more time and resources on technology,” said Senior Manager Business Policy Gavan Ord, “Their choice of technology puts them even further ahead of their competitors.

“Our survey results suggest other businesses may improve their growth prospects by investing in the technologies used by high growth businesses.”

CPA Australia surveyed 725 professionals in different industries in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore. Respondents were asked about their businesses’ past and expected technology use and past and expected financial performance.

“COVID-19 accelerated technology adoption by businesses, but not all businesses were equally placed when the pandemic hit.

“High growth businesses had already embraced technology enthusiastically. This helped them manage the disruption caused by COVID-19.”

In 2020, high growth businesses were significantly more likely to develop a long-term technology strategy, work with technology companies and increase their recruitment of technology staff than businesses whose growth was stagnant or shrank.

“High growth businesses have been focusing on technologies that deliver greater value to customers, such as data analytics and visualisation software, business intelligence software and artificial intelligence.”

Differences in future technology plans also sets higher and lower growth businesses apart. High growth businesses are much more likely to expect to increase their use of or investment in data analytics and visualisation software, business intelligence software, customer relationship management software and artificial intelligence than their lower growing counterparts.

The top technologies Australian businesses are most likely to increase investment in over the next 12 months are cloud technology and data analytics and visualisation software. High growth businesses in Australia are also planning to invest in business intelligence software.

The key drivers of technology adoption by Australian businesses are improving operational efficiency and the customer experience, while the main challenges are financial constraints and complex legacy systems.

“If you want to do well in business, look at what others are doing well. The clear lesson from our survey is that technology adoption, and making the right choices, leads to better business performance.”

Over the next 12 months, large businesses (more than 1000 employees) are planning to use or invest in data analytics and visualisation software, cloud technology, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.

Small businesses (less than 50 employees) are more likely to focus on cloud technology, video conferencing and group collaboration tools, and data analytics and visualisation software.

“When it comes to technology adoption, it’s not a level playing field, and many small businesses struggle. We support government programs to build small businesses’ digital capability. It’s a great way for governments to future proof the economy.”

Read CPA Australia’s Business Technology Report 2021

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