Lack of IT innovation lets down UK small businesses

Mostly assumed to  big on technology, active on social media and keen on new gadgets, small British businesses are actually falling behind their European counterparts when it comes to IT innovation.

Research carried out on behalf of Epson, as part of the Epson Business Council project, found that 51% of small British businesses believed IT was a significant driver for growth in their business, but compared to firms in other countries this number is quite low. In France and Germany 76% prioritise IT innovation while 73% of Spanish respondents said technology was vital to business.

Perhaps surprisingly given the popularity of gadgets such as the iPhone, Blackberry and iPad only 27% of British small businesses use smart phones and 38% use tablets - again in Europe this number is way higher with more than half using tablets.

But there was some positive news as the smallest UK businesses that took part showed a strong commitment to using new technology and the average of most of the equipment used by these was on average 2.2 years old, much lower than the European average.

Although some don't seem to act on it, the survey found a general consensus that innovation is important. Over half of the UK businesses recognise the importance of IT innovation - 57% said that it is vital for productivity and 27% that it helps retain staff.

To find out more about the issues and challenges faced by small businesses across Europe and get insights from top entrepreneurs, follow @EpsonBizUK for the latest information from the Business Council. Visit the Epson Business blog for more advice.


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