Technology adoption in the SME context is a growing area of interest in developing countries. Technology adoption is also crucial for the growth of business in the private sector.
Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of Indian SMEs shift online to scale up and succeed, with small business owners waking up to the need for technology as the only path for sustained growth. Small businesses don’t necessarily have the resources to make large investments in technology but the disruption has made them realise how adopting to digital can help them take advantage of opportunities in today’s changing environment. Even as MSMEs are struggling for survival, it is crucial to evaluate what the Government and technology companies can do to help small businesses carve out a growth path for themselves.
Information technology has transformed the social and business environment. Technology often deals with methods or tools used to gather, manipulate, store and communicate information. Emerging technology includes new or advanced hardware or software. Emerging technology is a sector of information technology responsible for developing new products or devices that are expected to be widely used in the next 5 to 10 years. Businesses often look to emerging technologies for new services or devices that will help them create a competitive business advantage. Emerging technology might also include advancements of technologies the business already uses. These advancements often allow companies to enhance business operations at a cheaper cost.
Technology can improve how a business communicates, and several new communication methods are in the emerging technology pipeline. One emerging communication technology is virtual offices, where employees meet, discuss various situations, and complete business functions. Voice over Internet Protocol is used for communicating via audio or video technology equipment. These technologies allow companies to work with employees or other companies around the world.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Two important emerging technology fields for businesses are robotics and artificial intelligence. Robotics is an engineering science and technology field that uses electronic or mechanical technology to replace human labor. Manufacturing and production firms currently use robots in their systems, and the robotics technology industry seeks to expand to other business industries. Artificial intelligence focuses on creating intelligent machines for businesses to use. Businesses use this technology by entering information into business machines that can develop the information and make accurate predictions and identify trends.
Research and Development
Emerging technology helps companies create more effective and less costly research and development processes. Photonic computing, quantum computing, biometrics, and nanotechnology are a few technologies that allow companies to find new ways for researching and breaking down information and other business processes. These technologies are commonly used in chemical, petroleum, medical, and other industries. Increased research and development technologies can help companies develop products more efficiently and bring them to the consumer market faster than in previous years.
Impacts of Technology on Small Business
Small businesses rely on technology to help them operate on a daily basis. From laptop computers with Internet capabilities to printers, online file storage, and Web-based applications, technological advances impact small businesses across various industries. Technology has the potential to affect small businesses in positive and adverse ways, depending on the goals a business has in place, the products they chose to use, and how well entrepreneurs and their employees adapt to new systems.
Flexible Work Environments
Technology gives small business owners and their employees the option to work in the office, from home, on the road and even from across the country. Affording small business owners the opportunity to hire talent from all over the world, technology can help businesses gain a competitive edge in the global environment.
Instant Connection with Customers
Small business owners no longer have to mail surveys to customers and wait for weeks for replies, nor do they have to call customers for feedback. Technology gives small businesses the ability to connect with their customers via e-mail, through blogs, social networks and forums. Small business owners can take advantage of this instant connection by getting feedback from customers and applying it to their businesses immediately, if they see fit.
Technology allows small businesses like crafters, clothing and accessories designers and painters an option to set up online stores, rather than investing in costly outlets. With consumers migrating to the Internet to find everything from gifts to ordering groceries, the popularity of online shopping increases with the variety of products and services. Businesses with storefronts can create online stores to expand their visibility and reach target markets beyond their neighbourhoods and surrounding communities.
As small businesses implement new technologies into their processes, they are tasked with providing training to new and veteran employees. While new employees are likely to easily adapt to the technologies, veteran employees may resist the new technologies or experience a learning curve, which may temporarily reduce productivity
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the driving force for the promotion of an economy. The impact of technology adoption is influential in improving the performance of SMEs. The improved perception of technology leads to the tendency toward usage behaviour of innovation at the organizational level. Technology adoption behaviour significantly improves organizational performance in terms of profit, growth and market share of Indian SMEs.
Dr.Kiran Kumari Patil
Director REVA NEST-TBI