Strong IT systems support safe growth

Study reflects on SME Growth

A recent study by IT firm Citrix has shown that UK SMEs are going through a successful period of growth, reducing the problematic ‘scale-up gap’ reported by Sherry Coutu last year. Some 33% of SMEs have increased their workforce since 2013, representing 1.675 million businesses, of which 426,000 have seen growth of 50% or more. The data showed that:

  • 10% of all British SMEs have shown annual growth of 20% or more since 2013, up 5% on the 2014 report, defining them as ‘high-growth’ companies.
  • Of the 220,345 SMEs in GB with ten or more employees, it is estimated that 23,000 are now high growth.

This is significant as these businesses speed up economic development, increase employment opportunities and safeguard long-term productivity, making vital contributions to the UK economy as a whole.

Investment in IT makes a difference

However, an interesting finding is that the businesses which enlarged by 50% or more over the period were found to be four times more likely to have invested extra capital in technology during 2014 than 2013, as opposed to the businesses that either ceased to grow or downsized during the same period. This indicates there is a considerable relationship between business growth and technology expenditure, a key ingredient for achieving ‘high-growth’ status. New technology has expanded SME abilities in sourcing new talent, pinpointing new business locations and exploring new markets.

Citrix senior director of international marketing, Andrew Millard, reflected on the report saying:

“Technology is clearly playing an important role in SMEs overcoming some of the traditional barriers to growth, and digital competency is becoming the new currency of growth. We hear on a daily basis how our customers are using technology to reinvent not only the way they work but the markets that they operate in.”

Emma Jones, founder of the SME-focused Enterprise Nation, added:

“The gazelle-like pace and momentum we’re experiencing in the small business world is not abating, rather it’s increasing as more and more people seize the day and set about starting up a business of their own, taking control of their own destiny.”

Strong IT supports Safe Growth

This is really good news. It’s clear that there is a strong correlation between business investment in IT and rapid growth. I am encountering so many business owners who have recognised the importance of good systems and IT infrastructures in enabling a business to cope with and accelerate safe growth. Please contact me if you are looking to grow your business, and you are concerned about your IT and software. My team can help!

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