The technology small businesses should invest in for 2022

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With the Federal Budget recently announced, we break down the advantages small-business owners can use and highlight the one piece of technology every business owner should consider investing in this year.

What the Federal Budget means for small businesses

Small businesses are being encouraged to digitally transform their operations with incentives such as a $120 tax deduction for every hundred dollars spent on digital technologies such as cybersecurity, e-invoicing, or digital upskilling courses for staff. Furthermore, a tax deduction bonus will be applied to investment in digital assets for small businesses with an annual turnover of under $50 million.

But where do small businesses start? With the advancement of digital tools, the process of integrating this technology can be daunting, especially when you take into consideration cost factors and long-term strategies. Today, we discuss the number one technology small businesses should invest in, intelligent automation.

Intelligent automation

The Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that in March 2022, 40 per cent of businesses experienced an increase in their operating expenses; a major jump from 24 per cent in March 2021. 35 per cent of recipients indicated that they expect operating expenses to increase in the next few months. Top it off with the cost of staff and business overheads, small businesses might struggle to keep afloat.

To counteract these demands, small businesses must look to the role of intelligent automation (IA) to assist in their business operations. Intelligent automation can be defined as the combination of using artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and machine learning, to deliver digital workers designed to automate end-to-end operational activities.

IA is implemented to create efficient business processes by automating mundane tasks and freeing up human-worker time to invest in other meaningful activities. From financial services to healthcare, intelligent automation is prevalent in all workforces and suitable for any operational size.

Small businesses that capitalise on IA can expect to achieve elevated efficiencies and amplified growth potential. Listed as a megatrend in 2022 by the Institute for Business Value, it’s no surprise that businesses are taking advantage, and when used effectively, the return of investment is more than optimal.

Intelligent automation can introduce a range of quantitative and qualitative benefits. According to Deloitte, in association with SS&C Blue Prism, intelligent automation has been proven to cut business process costs from 25 per cent to 40 per cent on average. Top it off with qualitative benefits, such as improved customer experiences, productivity, and efficiency, IA is the top technology that small businesses should invest in.

How to seize the potential of IA and why digital transformation is the key to staying ahead of competitors

The best way to seize the potential of IA is to harness IT readiness. The idea of implementing such technology might seem intimidating initially – especially when considering cost-efficiencies. Assessing long-term strategies and taking advantage of digital adoption can prove to be the greatest ammunition for staying ahead of competitors and navigating the ever-evolving changes in the work environment.

Not only is IA accelerating business operations, but it is also a steady substitute to keep up with staff absences, due to factors such as illness, isolation, and the Great Resignation. By creating faster processes, human-worker time can be devoted to customer experience and exercising strategic direction, effectively stimulating employees and retaining them.

Coming off the back of the pandemic and the Great Resignation, the long-term benefits of IA are exponential, and with attractive Government incentives, small businesses can leverage these incentives by implementing new technology to propel their growth and accelerate their business operations. The small businesses that act now will seize the potential of IA and not only stay ahead of competitors but find they might just get some time back in their day.