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Small Businesses: Technology

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL14339, tabled on 7 March 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of evidence that new technology saves time and money for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Answered on

18 March 2019

The Industrial Strategy highlighted a wide range of proven productivity boosting technologies that SMEs can adopt. As part of the evidence gathering phase of our Business Productivity Review, BEIS worked with the Enterprise Research Centre to develop a more robust analysis of the existing evidence that the adoption of new technology by a business will save it time and money.

The resulting Enterprise Research Centre State of Small Business Britain 2018 report focusses on micro-businesses. It concludes that the adoption of digital technologies is strongly linked to sales per employee, a measure of productivity. The report also sets out that adopting cloud computing leads to a 13.5% productivity rise, with CRM (Customer-relationship management) contributing up to 18.4%. The report also shows that E-Commerce adding 7.5%, web-based accounting software adds 11.8% and computer aided design (CAD) leading to a 7.1% increase in productivity.

The industry-led Made Smarter Review highlighted how UK manufacturing can be transformed through the adoption of industrial digital technology – including Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – boosting UK manufacturing by £455bn, reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5%, and creating a net gain of 175,000 jobs. Government has pledged to make the UK a global leader in industrial digitalisation, and has committed up to £141m to the Made Smarter programme.