Wednesday, 04 September 2019 10:33

Growing digital divide between small business and larger enterprises


There’s a growing digital divide between small businesses and large enterprises, with smaller businesses gaining an advantage by their adoption of new technology, according to a new report.

And the report from accounting software provider Xero says that Australian small businesses that increase their investment in technology grow their revenue and create jobs faster than other businesses.

Trent Innes, Managing Director, Xero Australia and Asia says that small businesses have an advantage over larger enterprises in being agile in adopting new technology.

Innes warned of the growing digital divide – based on new data from Xero Small Business Insights - when speaking at the company’s Xeron conference in Brisbane.

The data update - ‘Wired for Success: the impact of technology spending on small business’ - is based on anonymised and aggregated data from Insights and was prepared by AlphaBeta Advisors.

The data also finds that small businesses:

  • That increase their spend on information and communications technology (ICT) are 68% more likely to be growing
  • With higher ICT spending growth grew revenue 3.5 percentage points faster than those with lower ICT spending growth
  • With higher ICT spending growth grew employment 5.2 percentage points faster than those with lower ICT spending growth

According to the report, on average, Xero subscribers in Australia spend less than 1% of total revenue on ICT each year, with this expenditure relating to categories including Internet, telephone, mobile, computer, telecommunications, broadband, NBN and ADSL.

Xero says the roll out of the NBN is also helping businesses to access faster broadband, and driving greater levels of digitisation and growth opportunities – with Insights data revealing that, among businesses on Xero, those in mature NBN regions grew employment by one-third more (2.6 percentage points) than businesses in non-NBN regions in 2017.

“In Australia we are at an inflection point for technology adoption for small business and we have to ensure that they surf this wave,” says Innes.

“Small business is best placed in terms of size and agility to take advantage of new ways of working. Australian ranks third in the OECD in terms of the percentage of small businesses purchasing cloud computing services.

“This gives them a powerful start, and Xero’s data indicates a direct link between technology investment and growth.

“Xero is calling on small business to take a fresh look at their investment in technology to ensure they are in lock-step with big business, taking the first mover advantage where possible.”

According to Innes, access to advanced technologies has also never been “more prevalent or democratised” - from cloud computing to digital ecosystems -- putting powerful services and tools into the hands of anyone with a mobile or laptop”.

“While we see large enterprises well on their way to digital transformation, taking advantage of a range of powerful new technologies from AI to blockchain, we have to avoid the dangers of a new digital divide -- one between small and big business.

“Having a two-speed tech economy would be a disaster for Australia’s productivity and growth, particularly given small businesses generate a fifth of GDP and employ nearly half of all workers.”

“Small businesses have a huge opportunity to take advantage of increasing broadband connectivity and harness cloud-based business productivity tools,” says Andrew Charlton, Director, AlphaBeta Advisors.

“Among Xero users, 35% of medium sized businesses and 44% of larger small businesses are connected to third party apps delivering valuable insights and time savings to business owners.”

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News