Study Finds Nearly One in Two Small Business Owners Underutilize Technology

Nearly one in two (42%) small business owners report they do not use technology to its full capacity, thereby missing opportunities to improve productivity and operational efficiencies. Thirteen percent stated “we do not use any technology in my business on a weekly basis,” according to a study of nearly 300 U.S. small business owners by Oasis, a leading HR solutions firm.

One in 10 (10%) said they “limit the use of it because they are just busy getting the job done each day.” Nearly one-third (31%) “try to utilize it but know that there are some gaps in knowledge as to how it can be used most effectively.” This was most prevalent with businesses employing 20 or more people (32%) and with 10 or fewer years in operation (33%). If small business owners and managers do use technology, it’s mainly for websites (59%), cloud-based solutions (40%) and for mobile apps (28%).

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Which of the following aspects of technology do you use
 on a weekly basis in your business?




Cloud-based solutions


Mobile apps and interconnected devices


Insights and analytics, tools, reporting


CRM, marketing and sales automation


Do not use any technology at all on a weekly basis in my business


Artificial intelligence or intelligent agents e.g. voice recognition, chat bots


Face or optic recognition

“There seems to be a missed opportunity for small business owners and managers to utilize technology better,” said Joel Steigelfest, EVP/CIO at Oasis. “Consider, for example, artificial intelligence which can automate mundane administrative tasks, augment the human touch and enrich the customer experience.”

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“Savvy small business owners would be wise to consider whether routine HR tasks such as payroll, benefits processing and applicant tracking could be more efficient when automated through third-party tools and processes,” Steigelfest said. “This allows them to remove the burden on nonrevenue-producing tasks so they can better focus on their core business and grow.”

About the Study: This survey was conducted with 289 U.S. small business owners and managers who employ between 10 to 99 employees. Nearly all (93%) of the businesses were privately owned and 73% operated from one location. Most reported revenues in excess of $1 million (61%). A wide range of industries was represented. The online interviews took place between November 8 and 20, 2018, using a National Web Panel by SSRS, an independent market research company located in Glen Mills, PA.

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