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Survey: Pandemic Speeded Up Tech Plans

Businesses dramatically accelerated the adoption of new technology, accord to Sage’s 2021 Return to Growth Outlook. The recently released survey of 1,000 SMB business leaders found that 52 percent accelerated their technology plans by three or more years.

 The most frequently cited areas for digitization were accounting and finance, mentioned by 45 percent of respondents; marketing, 31 percent; and customer relationship management, 26 percent.

Cloud accounting software was cited by 27 percent as the most important technology in dealing with the crisis.

The pandemic also shifted business practices with 32 percent saying they tried social media advertising for the first time while 23 percent hired employees completely digitally for the first time. Non-traditional HR policies, such as childcare stipends or flexible work arrangements, were implemented by 27 percent for the first time. Only 13 percent intend to reduce budgets for these areas in 2021.

A third of surveyed business leaders said government assistance was listed as a key reason for business survival in the last 12 months.

Fifty-two percent said increase increased government funding for COVID-19 testing and additional safety measures would have the most positive impact in the next year, followed by 47 percent who said more employee support in the form of stimulus or increased funding for items such as childcare would be the most helpful.

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