More than half (54 percent) of small business owners surveyed would prefer to make IT investments their in businesses than stockpile cash, an 18-percent swing in preference since 2010, according to a survey of 500 U.S. small businesses by print solutions specialist Brother International.
Roughly two thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents are looking to invest in making a tech change this year, and the results would indicate they should aim to invest more in cloud computing.
Among the 62 percent of respondents who use the cloud, 95 percent found the cloud beneficial to their company, with 69 percent citing the benefit of easier access, storage and analysis of data.
Additionally, 34 percent of respondents believe the cloud has helped them save money, while 30 percent said they would like to start accepting mobile payments from customers.
“2014 was a big year for mobile payments, as tech giants like Apple helped push mobile payments into the limelight, and other media reports would indicate that more and more consumers are opting for digital wallets and mobile payments as their method of choice,” John Wandishin, vice president of marketing for Brother International, told eWEEK. “It’s also important for small business owners to be aware of all the ways effectively leveraging the cloud can be good for business.”
Wandishin explained cloud services are a good way for small businesses to manage scalability by increasing services during a growth spurt without having to invest in technology that might not be needed during a lull period.
“What’s great about the cloud is that you’re just renting what you need from the services provider and not buying costly new software or hardware,” he said.
A third of respondents would like to deploy technology to take better advantage of the Internet of things (IoT), a term describing increasing number of consumer devices that can be connected to, and managed through, the Web.
Small business owners have varied thoughts regarding changes they would like to make to their work and computing environments, given the current state of their businesses and the overall business climate.
Among respondents, 35 percent would like to stop taking on so many roles and responsibilities, 26 percent would like to take more time off, and 20 percent want to work on their work/life balance.
If given the opportunity to perform a tech makeover, 38 percent of survey respondents would replace their current laptops, 21 percent would replace their printers, and 20 percent their mobile devices.
This year, 42 percent of the survey respondents report a high level of stress because of the economy, a figure that is flat with last year (42 percent) and down 16 percent from a 58-percent high-water mark recorded by the survey in 2013.
Forty-one percent of respondents say they would like to spend money on tech purchases or upgrades if they increase their revenues by five percent or more this year.