Recent study finds that IT plays a key role in the growth and success of small and medium sized enterprises

Study shows that modern IT adoption by Canadian SMEs could boost job creation and revenue growth in Canada.

OTTAWA, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - On June 3rd, Microsoft Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce will launch a global economic impact study commissioned by Microsoft and independently conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The global economic impact report titled, Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth From Small Business Leaders, examines the effect of advanced information technologies on small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) in emerging and developed markets. According to the BCG study, SMEs who employed the full range of available IT tools, including productivity software and internet connectivity to cloud-based services, created more new jobs and drove more revenue gains over the past three years than SMEs using little technology; this is consistent across borders, industries, genders, and across emerging and developed countries.

"This study illustrates the tremendous potential for small medium enterprises to fuel local economic growth and job creation," said Janet Kennedy, President of Microsoft Canada. "With the latest developments in Cloud computing, small businesses now have the opportunity to capitalize on the tools and technologies which will help them grow and achieve more with their business."

BCG estimates that if more SMEs chose to make greater use of new information technologies; revenue could grow by a combined $770 billion and create some 6.2 million new jobs in just the five primary markets surveyed - U.S., Germany, China, India, and Brazil. Similar trends were also found in Canada through an extension of the BCG Study, conducted by Ipsos MORI, which indicated that SMEs using Cloud based solutions are more likely to be creating jobs than other SMEs. These 'Tech Leaders' have seen the number of employees grow by 16% in the past three years, a 14% difference from those using little technology.  

The BCG report argued that the latest wave of technological advancement, such as cloud services, brings potential for the most far-reaching innovation and business growth ever, creating an opportunity for more SMEs to achieve the growth rates of technology leaders by leveraging technology to fuel productivity and growth. The research revealed that high-performing SMEs stayed ahead of mainstream IT adoption, riding new waves of advancement to improve productivity, connect with new customers and markets, particularly outside their own region or country, and compete with much larger players.

But at the same time, the research reveals a risk for Canadian SMEs, because the rate of IT adoption is uneven. Across Canada, SMEs are also still using large amounts of old and less efficient hardware and software. But the growth prospects described in the study are too important for governments and the IT industry to ignore. The risk of a growing technology gulf is relevant to governments looking to maximize economic growth, and it is an opportunity for policy makers and the IT industry to implement strategies to remove barriers to IT adoption by addressing the top concerns small businesses have about using more technology.

"Through programs such as BizSpark and the recently announced Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre and its Foundry Vancouver University Internship Program, we are committed to enabling Canadians to achieve more and benefit from the use of modern IT," Marc Seaman, National Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Microsoft said. "For businesses, it's about providing the devices and services to accelerate their growth and competitiveness, but it also means focusing on community investments through skills development programs to help entrepreneurs learn and grow."

A copy of the report can be downloaded at: https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/technology_software_globalization_ahead_curve_lessons_technology_growth_small_business_leaders/

Or a copy can also be found at the Microsoft News Center:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/smetechleaders/default.aspx

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca

SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Inc.

For further information: Dana Huggard, Microsoft Canada, a-dahugg@microsoft.com, 289-305-9965; Kate Burkholder, Veritas Communications, burkholder@veritasinc.com, 647-282-0436

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Microsoft Canada Inc.

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