Half of small to mid-sized manufacturers ‘early adopters of tech’, survey finds

More than half of small to mid-sized manufacturing businesses say they are ‘early adopters’ of tech, according to research. 

The survey, which was conducted by leading Yorkshire-based digital transformation specialists, Azzure IT, has revealed that more than 40 per cent (41.5 per cent) of small to mid-sized businesses identify as being in the ‘early majority’, while 13.2 per cent say they are ‘early adopters’ of technology.

Azzure’s research looked into business attitudes towards development and boardroom decisions. Each business surveyed was asked to describe their attitude towards investment in tech and improving existing ways of working, with almost two thirds (66.7%) stating they were ‘well placed’ to take on operational challenges.

However, though attitudes towards investment in tech appear positive on first glance, Azzure managing director Craig Such has emphasised that the next key question is whether firms are putting those attitudes into practice.

“Our study was targeted at specific-size businesses – SMBs – and the results are a positive reflection of business attitudes,” said Craig.

“Shaping attitudes is one thing and it’s a huge positive to find that firms appear to feel well-placed to take on new challenges, but implementation of new tech is another thing entirely. 

“Businesses ranked time and cost versus benefit as the two most significant barriers, respectively, when considering new IT. Those are issues which firms will face when they come to update their software systems.

“The irony of this is that updating software systems, in our experience, leads to increased productivity and therefore makes time less of a problem for firms – and furthermore increases the benefit versus costs.” 

The results were revealed after Azzure IT’s research also found that more than two thirds (71.7%) of firms stated that they saw digital transformation as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their boardroom strategy.

This led Craig to talk up the ease at which firms can ‘take the next step’ to transforming themselves digitally.

“Although there are clearly boardroom barriers in the way of firms undertaking digital transformation, that shouldn’t be the case,” said Craig.

“Our research into business attitudes, coupled with our experience in digital transformation, makes me feel that we could well be on the cusp of another digital revolution."

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