SMEs that digitalised in 2020 earned more, have better 2021 outlook: UOB study

DIGITALISATION efforts amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 paid off in the form of stronger revenue growth and a better outlook for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to a study by UOB.

The UOB SME Outlook 2021 Study published on Monday found that two in five SMEs that implemented digitalisation initiatives in 2020 had stronger revenue growth than non-adopters, with those who digitalised their entire business or multiple areas outperforming those who digitalised only one area.

Among non-adopters, six in 10 saw their 2020 net revenue decline from 2019.

The businesses that digitalised are also more optimistic about 2021 - three in five are expecting revenue to grow this year, and seven in 10 feel more prepared for a post-Covid-19 business recovery.

In contrast, only three in 10 SMEs that did not adopt digital tools are expecting revenue growth in 2021, and four in 10 non-adopters feel more prepared for business recovery after the pandemic.

The study found that digitalisation efforts helped SMEs achieve greater productivity in 2020, a business objective that firms had listed as a top priority for the year in a different UOB study conducted in late-2019.

SMEs in business services, manufacturing and engineering, and community and personal services saw the greatest year-on-year percentage increases in productivity and efficiency, ranging from 44 to 49 per cent.

(Original shared on Business Times

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