Small Businesses Adopt New Technology But Rely on Tried-and-True, Survey Says

New data from Brother's technology adoption survey shows that the small businesses vacillate between old school and cloud technologies.

Small businesses are between the old school approach and the cloud when it comes to adopting new technology trends and business practices in the workplace, reports a survey released (PDF) today from Brother International, a global supplier of a variety of office equipment including printers.

Technology Adoption Survey

The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, of 509 U.S. small business owners and decision-makers, reveals that, while business owners embrace new trends such as the use of cloud-based technology and the mobile, remote workforce, they still hold on to the tried-and-true when it comes to conducting business on a daily basis.

For instance, the survey shows that 58 percent of small businesses’ regular work tasks require employees to be physically present in the office. It also reveals that 91 percent have the standard office equipment — printer, scanner, copier or fax machine — and that they use the printer more than 10 times per day.

The advancement of cloud-based tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive are welcome among small businesses, however, and 21 percent of survey respondents plan to spend the biggest portion of their IT budget on cloud-based file sync and share technologies. Another 28 percent say their IT expenditure will go toward the purchase of mobile devices, to accommodate remote workers.

The real story here is that, for most small businesses, it’s not an either/or proposition. They can adopt the use of new technologies and still rely on the tried-and-true ways of doing business.

It’s a “best of both worlds” approach that allows business to achieve maximum productivity, utilizing the full potential of what each aspect of technology has to offer.

“While industry experts may speculate that businesses are moving towards an increasingly digitized work environment, our survey indicates that’s not always the case,” said John Wandishin, vice president of marketing, Brother International, in an email to Small Business Trends. “Small business owners still trust and rely on tried-and-true core business practices, which means that document imaging devices, such as printers and multi-functional printers are here to stay. ”

Certainly, if the survey evidences anything, it’s that small business owners are pragmatic in their use of technology and depend on what works to grow the company’s revenue and position themselves for success.

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Paul Chaney Paul Chaney is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers industry news, including interviews with executives and industry leaders about the products, services and trends affecting small businesses, drawing on his 20 years of marketing knowledge. Formerly, he was editor of Web Marketing Today and a contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce.

One Reaction
  1. It is hard to be adventurous in trying out technologies. It is always better to look for something that is already working for other people.