Small and medium businesses make up a nearly the entire Canadian business industry and employ roughly 10.8 million people. Small businesses make up a crucial part of the Canadian economy. So when the pandemic started, many businesses – and the economy – suffered as a result.
But now as mask mandates are being removed, the government providing programs to keep companies on their feet during the pandemic, and people working to keep these businesses alive, small, and medium businesses need to be doing more to keep the lights on and to recover Canada’s economy.
What is being asked of them isn’t to come up with new products or services but rather to adopt more technology into their businesses. Here is why.
Adoption Leads To More Growth And Survivability
A new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship revealed many things. The most notable is the fact that the companies that embraced technology were:
- Better prepared for the pandemic
- Didn’t lose as much revenue
- And retained employees more
Compared to those who didn’t who would potentially close.
Furthermore, the report cited research from the Business Development Bank of Canada which stated those who adopted technology were:
- 62 per cent more likely to experience higher sales growth
- 52 per cent more likely to have higher profits
- 70 per cent more likely to be exporters
All in all, the companies that were able to adopt more technology could be seen growing during the pandemic and making it through without having to close.
Lack Of Adoption Has Hampered Canadian Businesses
Despite the upsides that the report revealed, the reality with Canadian businesses is that technology isn’t fully adopted. About fifty-seven per cent of businesses had low technology integration on top of lacking the skills and leadership to promote the use of technology.
These two aspects, the report argues, has resulted in the Canadian economy not being as strong. In addition, it has hampered the ability for Canadian businesses to compete globally and contribute to Canada’s productivity gap with the United States.
Adoption Results In More Avenues To Grow
The growth from adoptions of technology is significant as digital technologies range from e-commerce platforms to remote work, cloud computing, and digital oversight amongst others. Ultimately, technology was the key in letting businesses adapt and deal with the initial shocks that came from the pandemic at the start.
Those avenues also allowed businesses to deal with those continued shocks during the pandemic.
The Government Is Supporting Adoption
Announced in their 2021 budget, the federal government made a $4-billion commitment through a program called Canada Digital Adoption Program. The idea of the program is to help small and medium businesses adopt new digital technologies. This would be a great relief as many small and medium businesses struggle with adoption for all kinds of reasons.
Small And Medium Businesses Face Many Issues
Another big reason is that with technology constantly evolving, businesses will need to be facing this technological barrier. As a result, the challenges that businesses are facing now with adoption will appear eventually.
And with businesses in the state that they are in, many will face significant barriers to a broader tech adoption.
One example is fiber optics. One of the key challenges is accessing high-speed connectivity. Large businesses that have this are in a good position as 73.1 percent of large businesses have this. For small and medium businesses, these numbers are 24.8 percent and 42.8 percent respectively.
The Costs Of Digitalizing The Business
Another struggle is digitalizing the business in various ways. In some cases, it can be the time or the costs of setting up an e-commerce store. But for many, the largest barrier is the lack of skills employees have on information technology and technology in general. This impacts their skills of implementing technology in a business capacity too.
Racism & Sexism Issues Too
Underrepresented groups also face challenges due to systemic racism and sexism. Examples of indigenous-owned businesses today are struggling with:
- Getting people with the right skills
- Retaining employees
- Seeking financing
- Obtaining reliable internet
- Getting access to telephones
On the other hand, women entrepreneurs are also facing barriers with funding due to economic discrimination.
The Desire For Technology Adoption Is There
Even with the benefits of adopting technology into businesses, there are still some gaps that must be worked on. Some of them are systemic discrimination or genuine barriers that contribute to these large gaps.
Regardless of what it is, it’s important for businesses to have the enthusiasm to adopt and seize the opportunity of integrating technology.
Mtek Digital Managed Business Service
Mtek Digital provides help with virtually any business technology requirement. From IT services to Web and Video Marketing, we’re capable of servicing the tech industry throughout Canada. Contact us today.