In keeping with what seems to be a continuing trend, the 2014 Sage Business Index has revealed that while South African businesses are generally less optimistic about the state of their country’s economy as compared to business owners in other parts of the world, they are confident in their own growth prospects, with 65% of South African businesses expecting their turnover to grow by an average of 4.9% over the next year.
Close to 14,000 small and medium sized businesses in 18 countries were quizzed to learn about their outlook.
Despite some of the ambivalence regarding the economy’s performance, what is more conclusive is that more business owners are more aware of the ways that mobile technology is transforming in which small businesses operate, and were optimistic about its application.
“It’s especially interesting to note how technologies such as mobility are creating new efficiencies and opportunities for them. The Index reveals that they are enthusiastically embracing mobile solutions as a result.” says Ivan Epstein, co-founder of Softline and CEO of Sage AAMEA (Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa).
“3 in 5 agree that customers should be able to contact their business 24/7”
Here are 4 key technology findings from this year’s Index:
1. 50% of South African respondents use a tablet or smartphone to communicate with customers, suppliers or colleagues.
2. More than 40% think that, in the future, tablets and smartphones will be of most use for accounting and/or payroll.
3. 40% say they spend more than a quarter of their working day on mobile devices.
4. Three in five agree that customers should be able to contact their business 24/7.
5. 59% believe the mobile infrastructure in South Africa makes it possible to work effectively on mobile devices.