If more Indian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt the latest IT tools, there is potential for SME revenue to grow by $56 billion and create 1.1 million new jobs, said a Microsoft-BCG study.
The research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says tech-savvy SMEs created more new jobs and drove more revenue gains over the past three years than SMEs using little technology.
“There is tremendous opportunity for economic growth. Our objective is to help more SMEs transition to, and benefit from, modern IT. For customers, it means providing product training and helping SMEs understand the full range of available devices and services, but it also means community and industry investments such as skills training,” said Karan Bajwa, managing director of Microsoft India.
Over the past three years, IT-enabled SMEs grew revenues 15 percentage points faster and created twice as many jobs as SMEs that use less technology. These fast-growing SMEs use more Microsoft solutions than any other products, and that SMEs view Microsoft as the top partner for new and future technology needs.
When asked what technologies survey respondents could not live without, they chose Microsoft Office as the top productivity application over all others. Moreover, SMEs that adopted Microsoft Cloud services grew faster than SMEs that do not use any Microsoft products. These companies also reported greatly improved employee mobility, scalability and agility.
The BCG report says technological advancement such as cloud services, brings potential for the most far-reaching innovation and business growth ever, creating an opportunity for more SMEs to achieve the growth rates of technology leaders by leveraging technology to fuel productivity and growth.
Across the world, many SMEs, and their customers, don’t have access to modern broadband networks, and many lack the skills to get the most out of IT. Many SMEs are also still using large amounts of old and less efficient hardware and software.
New devices are also sometimes very expensive due to high import duties, and SMEs are concerned about online security and privacy. But the growth prospects described in the study are too important for governments and the IT industry to ignore.
The research revealed nearly 90 percent of SMEs in India have no access to the Internet, compared with only 22 percent of SMEs in China and 5 percent of SMEs in the US.