SMEs show no fear in the face of technological disruption

26 Jul 2017

*76% SMEs invested in innovation over the last 12 months

*29% SMEs said the cost of innovation was the biggest barrier

*Social media driving more value for SMEs

MYOB’s latest Business Monitor survey of more than 1000 SMEs has highlighted that SMEs are tuned into the need for digital innovation and are implementing technological strategies to help secure their future success.

The survey found 76 per cent had invested in technology as a means to innovate over the last 12 months, prioritising computer hardware or software, new machinery and up-skilling employees.

The findings also revealed that 78 per cent of SMEs believe advancements in technology will impact their business in the next decade; 40 per cent of which expected a significant impact.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said the results show the SME community is not frightened by the challenge of technological disruption.

“Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, cutting-edge technology investment. Small changes can deliver huge value to a business – whether that measure is time, money or an improved experience,” Mr Reed said.

Innovation – how and why?

In April, additional MYOB research identified that the changing business landscape was an added reason to embrace innovation, with 57 per cent of SMEs believing large global businesses – such as Amazon, which is planning to set up shop is Australia – is also forcing change in the local market.

Mr Reed said: “The Business Monitor research shows us that SMEs understand the technology evolution underway, and the need to incorporate innovation as a core component of their business, not just an added extra to address when cash-flow allows.

“Pleasingly, we are seeing SMEs walk-the-walk. They’re not throwing their hands in the air with these challenges, they’re investing in the required innovation which can provide a competitive edge into the future.”

“One simple business innovation MYOB has seen first-hand is the migration from desktop accounting and embrace of online accounting solutions. Cloud accounting is becoming more automated to include bank feeds and bill capture, which improves efficiency and saves time,” Mr Reed said.

There are still significant barriers

The insights found 29 per cent of small business owners thought the cost of introducing and developing innovation was the biggest barrier. Too much government regulation (26 per cent) and a lack of government support (25 per cent) were other blockages holding business back. 

Creating an innovation-friendly environment could be a vote winner for politicians, with 53 per cent of SMEs saying they would vote for a party that continued to increase government funding for innovation, research and development by Australian businesses. Only 10 per cent said they would vote against such an initiative.

“These insights outline the importance of removing these barriers to business growth. The government needs to do as much as it can to encourage achievable innovation as it will lead to a vibrant small business community,” Mr Reed said.

The benefits of social media

The survey highlighted a spike in SMEs utilising the benefits of a social media for their business. While it was surprising that only 22 per cent of businesess have a social media presence, those using with one said it led to more enquiries and 54 per cent said it allowed more interaction with customers. Half of the businesses on social media said it made doing business easier.

“We would encourage SMEs to continue to use innovative tools for their business and a social media presence is helping make life easier for many. Creating a social media presence and using it to interact with customers is a simple, innovative step that can help your business succeed.”

“The survey also tells us that size is no barrier for using social media – 27 per cent of micro businesses have a business page of some kind, ahead of small, medium and sole traders,” Mr Reed said. 


For further comment or other information please contact:

Sean Rogasch, Media Relations Consultant, MYOB
M: 61 400 069 951/ E:

Georgia Colahan, Ogilvy PR
P: 02 8437 5384 / M: 0432 882 080 / E:

About MYOB
MYOB Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) is a leading cloud based business management solutions provider. It makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and in 2015 was awarded the BRW award for the most innovative large company for 500+ employees and placed 2nd in BRW’s Most Innovative Companies Award list across all categories nationally.  For more information, visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.


About the MYOB Business Monitor
After six years of conducting the MYOB Small Business Survey we've enhanced it to better reflect the profile of Australian businesses. We've now incorporated medium businesses, along with the sole traders and small businesses that were already part of the survey. We're pleased to present the new look MYOB Business Monitor.
The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of over 1000 Australia's business owners (and directors) conducted twice a year by Colmar Brunton.