January 31, 2017 - Small Businesses Have a Long Way to Go on Digital Strategies

Survey: Small Businesses Have a Long Way to Go on Digital Strategies 

Small Business Tech Is Still Emails And Spreadsheets

According to the Salesforce Research “2016 Connected Small Business Report,” with more than 300 small business owners in the nationwide survey commissioned online by Harris Poll, most small business owners still rely on manual, outdated processes, such as email and spreadsheets, to store and track their customer information.

The research found that, while not having enough time is one of the top business-related issues keeping small business owners up at night, the majority are not taking advantage of modern technologies such as CRM, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

83% of small businesses do not have an IT staff, so it is no surprise that 72% of small business owners are responsible for making their company’s technology buying decisions.

Who In Organization Typically Makes The Technology Buying Decisions (Multiple OK)
Decision Maker
% of Responders
A co-owner / business partner
CTO / CIO / head of IT
Outside vendor / partner
CFO / head of finance
Source: Salesforce Research, January 2017


When considering which technologies to purchase, most owners consider

  • Price (74%)
  • Convenience (43%)
  • Compatibility with their current infrastructures (37%)

The majority of their technology spend, which on average accounts for 15% of their annual budgets, goes toward

  • Hardware (46%)
  • Financial software (33%), such as accounting, bookkeeping and bill payment technologies

There appears to be a gap when it comes to how small business owners manage their relationships with customers, including tracking their information and providing effective service.


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