Small businesses in Australia have the potential to contribute an additional $49.2 billion of private sector output over the next ten years by making better use of internet and mobile technologies.
In this August 2015 report, PricewaterhouseCoopers investigates the contribution of small businesses to the Australian economy and the impact mobile and internet technologies can have on this contribution. The report finds that small businesses have the potential to generate an additional $49.2 billion of private sector output over the next decade by making more efficient use of mobile and internet technologies. These benefits are not limited to tech companies or those based in large cities, with 53% of the digital potential located outside of Australia’s inner metropolitan centres.
PricewaterhouseCoopers identifies four key areas of action for small businesses to achieve their digital potential. They are improving business strategy and management; improving supply chains; improving marketing, sales and distribution channels; and providing better customer experiences. Internet and mobile technologies allow small businesses to make these improvements by enabling them to better understand their customers, get faster access to more suppliers, increase customer reach and improve workflow and collaboration.
The report states that unlocking digital potential will require government and businesses to coordinate their strategy. In particular, the report recommends a strategy that focuses on targeted business support, developing digital skills and investing in infrastructure. Small businesses are time-poor, which means they often know about new technologies but can be quite late adopters. Targeted support for these businesses can greatly increase technology uptake. Additional training to improve the digital skills in these firms can also effectively increase the use of technology according to the report. Finally the government can ensure digital potential is reached by investing in infrastructure to guarantee the necessary levels of reliability in mobile and internet technologies (e.g. broadband access).