Is technology more important for your business than people?

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New research suggests that almost half (46%) of UK small business owners believe technology is more important to their business than people. Broken down into regions, London entrepreneurs are the most likely to hold this opinion at 56%.

The findings come from Yorkshire Bank’s study, ‘Expect More’, which weighs the opinions of 2,000 SME entrepreneurs from the UK’s 10 largest cities. Expect More covers work-life balance, growth ambitions, innovation, and diversity.

Those entrepreneurs may be on to something – the research shows that high-growth businesses are more likely to be tech-driven, with 71% finding technology to be a key driver for growth. They are also the most aware of their impact on the environment, with 57% of high-growth businesses caring deeply about the impact of their environmental footprint, compared to the average of 44%.

The study also hints that technology may be the winning factor for SMEs when trying to secure funding, with 36% of tech-led businesses finding it easy to access funding for growth – compared to 19% of other businesses. In addition, nine in ten tech-led businesses have tried to access funding, compared to an 80% average, showing that more tech-led businesses are taking advantage of funding opportunities and being proactive with regards to growth.

Gavin Opperman, Group Banking Business Director, CYBG, said ‘’Technology is disrupting many different aspects of our lives, and it is truly revolutionising the way we work. The rise of e-commerce in particular is enabling SMEs to access markets they may never have been able to reach previously. It therefore doesn’t surprise me that high-growth businesses are more likely to be driven by tech.

“We’ve seen a huge adoption in the SME world of many technologies from digital marketing and social media to AI and the IoT. 5G is set to push boundaries and assist a wide range of interconnected devices, which will include everything from company cars to the office environment.

“However, we shouldn’t forget the importance of people in a digital economy. It is the personal element that helps to build a rapport, creating the long-standing relationships necessary for a trusting and efficient connection between business and customer. It is clear that technology can open so many doors and help businesses take that extra step in their growth plans and it is great to see so many UK SMEs embracing this. As a bank we don’t underestimate the balance between tech and people.”

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