New research, commissioned by conference call provider PowWowNow, has revealed the difference in attitudes to driving success between SME business leaders across Europe. It has found three quarters (75 per cent) of UK SMEs believe integrating technology tools and solutions such as video calling and cloud telephony will be crucial for growth in the coming years. In stark contrast, only 16 per cent of French SMEs perceive technology tools as being vital for business success, and just a third (33 per cent) of German businesses agree.
The report also found the UK is ahead of its European neighbours in linking communication technology solutions to remote working; over half (51 per cent) of UK SMEs invest in technology to enable staff to work remotely, compared to just a quarter (25 per cent) of French SMEs and a third of German companies (32 per cent).
Meanwhile, German employees are the least attracted to a company because of its technology solutions – less than a quarter (24 per cent) of SMEs believe integrating video calling and cloud telephony solutions will help them gain new talent.
The research also reveals preferences for different technology solutions; the British are the least likely to invest in web meetings technology (25 per cent), next to 43 per cent of French SMEs, and over half of German businesses (47 per cent). However, UK SMEs are more eager to onboard conference calling technology; half of SMEs aim to invest here, versus 29 per cent of French and around a third (35 per cent) of German small businesses.
“The research shows that UK SMEs see investment in technology tools as a crucial route to success. Not only are such solutions, from web calling to cloud telephony, understood to improve business efficiency, they are also proving crucial in attracting and retaining talent,” says Andrew Johnson, MD of PowWowNow. “It’s clear that SMEs must demonstrate to workers that they are investing in the workplace of the future and providing an environment where employees are empowered to work more efficiently as well as remotely if they choose. Businesses that invest in technology will be able to nurture a connected, satisfied, and more productive workforce, and reap the business rewards.”
The research also revealed differing attitudes to technology according to business size across Europe: bigger SMEs are more likely to find technology improves business efficiency, with 77 per cent believing so compared to less than half (45 per cent) of startups.
More established SMEs are also more likely to find investment in technology is helpful in attracting talent – nearly a third of established SMEs agree that tech can help with recruitment, next to just 14 per cent of microbusinesses.