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COVID-19 crisis rushes UK SMEs to advance their digitalisation

Research from a B2B software search website, Capterra, has found that 51 per cent of small and medium businesses are looking to take on a more virtual future via additional software investments.

Capterra, the leading B2B software search website, has revealed the results of its study that analysed how small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are adapting to the new environment.

Almost a third of the respondents (27 per cent) state that COVID-19 crisis impacted at least 50 per cent of their planned software purchase between January and May. Most businesses had to reallocate their annual software budget and move the timeline forward for almost six months due to the pandemic.

The study showed that the coronavirus pandemic resulted, as expected, in large adoption of remote desktop software, live chat software and video conferencing software.  But there was also uptake of project management software and a small portion also invested in VPNs, HR software and appointment scheduling software.

Although small businesses are keen on adapting new software, price remains a big concern. When asked about the key factors behind software purchase to decision-makers, price (58 per cent) and ease of use (53 per cent) are the two most important ones for them followed by free version/free trial (48 per cent) and reviews (46 per cent). This finding is supported by the recent Gartner statement that estimates that IT spending will decrease by 8 per cent this year from last year’s total budget.

A large portion of decision-makers, 52 per cent, said the software purchases they make will be critical to their survival during (and after) the pandemic. On the down side, 35 per cent were not confident their business could survive another six months under the current conditions, without factoring any governmental support.

Sonia Navarrete, content analyst, comments:

“We found that over half of decision-makers in British SMEs consider the purchase of software to be critical to the survival of the company.

Companies have been forced to update their software due to the crisis, and most managers have to look for software that is easy to use by the team and can start using it without disrupting their work too much – ensuring business continuity during the pandemic.”

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