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Sage Releases Survey Findings on Productivity Declines

New research from Sage reveals only 61% of U.S. businesses plan to invest in future tech and digital skills to increase profitability, trade potential

Over last 12 months, U.S. businesses lost $346 billion in productivity due to administrative tasks, survey finds

Sage, the market leader in cloud business management solutions, today released the findings from its We Power the Nation survey, which revealed that poor productivity cost the U.S. economy $346 billion over the past 12 months. The survey, which polled 3,000 small and medium businesses around the world, investigates productivity loss and how future investment in technology and digitization impact trade, people and productivity – three success factors at the core of business today.

Despite advancements in technology, the administrative burden on businesses of all sizes persists; key findings from the report reveal:

  • Only 61% of U.S. businesses plan to invest in digital skills to increase trade and profitability 
  • In the U.S. alone, economic value lost to administrative tasks in the last 12 months totalled $346 billion
  • 71% of U.S. businesses reveal they spend 35+ hours per week on compliance-related tasks
  • More than 50% of U.S. businesses cited Net Connectivity as the most significant technology to affect the future of trade

While businesses are recognizing the financial impact of administrative tasks, and are taking action to reduce the burden, the U.S. was among the least likely to invest in digital skills in 2019, attributing the reason for withholding investment as a “lack of applicability to business strategies.” According to the research, only 36% of businesses consider digital skills a priority investment, despite businesses citing net connectivity and artificial intelligence as the most significant technology to affect the future of trade in their sectors.

 “The global productivity deficit continues to grow, yet investment in digital skills can help remedy the issue,” said Nancy Harris, Managing Director, Sage North America. “Our research reveals that not only does it help from a revenue perspective, but it can also improve employee morale; 48% of medium-sized businesses and 53% of large-sized businesses boasted a more productive working environment as a result.”

That being said, many companies also believe that digital skills training should be supported not only by a corporation’s internal team, but by the government as well. Twenty three percent of businesses think the government should provide free digital skills training and 31% believe tax breaks would better support the improvement of their digital skills – a possible indicator that a broader push for this kind of government intervention could be on the horizon.

“As businesses around the world continue to face an increasingly competitive marketplace, the need for digital tools and skills has never been greater. As we speak to our customers, they resoundingly agree that a combination of investment and governmental programs can help solve this productivity puzzle,” Harris added.

Source: Sage media release

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