TECHNOLOGY is continuing to disrupt traditional business models with 46 per cent of businesses planning to invest in the digital space, according to RSM Bird Cameron.
Research from the accounting firm's thinkBIG study also shows 50 per cent of small to medium enterprises have already increased financial investment in technology in the last 12 months.
RSM Bird Cameron director Andrew Sykes says there are a number of tools to streamline the workforce and improve operations.
This includes customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other business intelligence (BI) systems to provide a clear view of customers and how to connect with them.
This requires a significant shift in thinking culturally, says Sykes.
"Digital disruption also known as business disruption can lead to competitive advantages through the ability to deliver better services faster, regardless of company size," he says.
"It's no longer a matter of the big fish eating the small fish but the fast fish eating the slow fish.
"Technology systems like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM are now more readily available to smaller businesses as cost and complexity reduce.
"Competition for customers and share of wallet is intensifying and now, more than ever, business owners need to be better connected to customers with a real focus on sales planning as part of their overall business strategy."
Digital disruption has impacted numerous sectors, with its four main facilitators of change being cloud, mobile, social and big data.
The study shows 13 per cent of businesses will launch web or mobile applications, 7 per cent will launch mobile tools for employees, 8 per cent will implement ERP or CRM systems and 8 per cent will introduce cloud-based accounting system.
Sykes says investment is expected to focus primarily on social media and mobile technology.
"Organisations can leverage social media by actively asking customers for their feedback," he says.
"This can help drive a stronger relationship with the customer, as well as informing the company's overall strategy.
"There is also potential to use social media to drive revenue and it should be an integral part of an omni-channel approach that aggregates all customer data."
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support