Summary of Ahead of the Curve

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Do businesses that adopt the latest technologies outperform those that don’t, and if so, by how much? This Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report delves into truisms about technology and small to medium-sized businesses, and provides answers in the form of workable, accessible data. It explains how – and by what measures – small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with access to technology perform better than their competitors that lack tech access. It discusses when access to technology does not improve performance and why. The report offers policy proposals showing governments how to support SMEs and their tech needs. Some steps may surprise you – like giving women access to technology and training. Throughout, the BCG provides numbers on the financial implications of their data and illustrates the relationships between business success and technology with a host of graphics. getAbstract recommends this insightful, in-depth report to investors, start-ups, small-business owners, politicians, and those interested in the impact of technology on commerce and on developing nations.

About the Author

The Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, provides business strategy advice from its officers in 43 countries.



Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Technology

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential to local, national and global economies. They create jobs and drive economic growth. Technology, especially information technology, provides important support for their business goals. SMEs can apply some technologies that larger corporations also find useful, but SMEs tend to pursue this capacity in a “decidedly uneven” fashion, creating the possibility of a new “digital divide” in the business community.

Comparing technology adaptation leaders – and evaluating the way technology benefits them – to other firms with less access and usage reveals a tech-adaptation road map that can guide future growth for companies and national governments alike. Governments should empower their SMEs, since those with better access to technology earn more and create more jobs.

Worldwide, SMEs already generate a major share of GDP, from 60% in China to around 20% in India and Russia. SMEs provide many jobs, though numbers vary markedly by country: 82% of jobs in China and 71% of jobs in Australia come from SMEs, while in Russia and India, they contribute only 25%.


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