New research reveals South African small businesses are at risk of being left behind if they don’t adopt new technologies.
The research from accounting software firm Xero, conducted in partnership with World Wide Worx (WWW) shows that over half (52%) of small businesses admit that they are only just keeping up with technology adoption, while a further 45% acknowledge that they could be doing more.
The research, represents the opinions of 400 small business owners and the findings reveal many small businesses are still holding on to old technologies – a large portion (83%) of the businesses questioned are still using Excel spreadsheets, while almost three quarters (73%) are still printing invoices. This demonstrates a distinct lack of awareness concerning the benefits that newer technology can bring.
While small businesses are open to new technologies, the findings demonstrate that poor internet connectivity holds them back. Almost half (41%) of entrepreneurs cited maintaining a stable connection in their workplace as a key challenge.
The research reveals that the portion of small businesses that already use new technologies like the cloud (44%), report significant benefits. Of those that use cloud technology, 70% say the main benefit is time savings – with almost half (48%) stating to have claimed back more than ten hours per week. A further 52% also assert that cloud technology has saved them money.
Speaking of the results, Colin Timmis, South Africa Head of Accounting, Xero comments: “With economic volatility, it’s been an uncertain time for South Africa’s small business community. The entrepreneurs surveyed in our report demonstrate a strong awareness of the new tools available to them, and many are actively working to incorporate them into day-to-day working life. While it’s certainly encouraging that 58% of SMEs included cloud technology it in their business plans for the coming year, failing to adopt the right technologies, risks them being left behind.”
It is significant given that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) currently comprise 91% of businesses in South Africa, and employ 60% of the country’s labour force – contributing 36% of the overall GDP, according to The Banking Association South Africa.
Other key findings from the research reveal:
- 63% of businesses admit that reviewing their existing technology setup is a high or medium priority.
- Excel spreadsheets are predominantly used for accounting (68%), office management (56%), and financial planning (49%).
- Poor or unreliable connectivity is a bugbear for many businesses: 66% indicate severe issues for 1-3 days every month, and 29% struggle for 5-10 days.
- The main consequences of poor internet connectivity are lost time (56%) and frustrated employees (26%).
CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!
Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER
From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.
Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:
LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home
LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine, debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules, a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation.
Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.
The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft
Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now:
- Hoppy American IPA
- Golden American Pale Ale
- Full-bodied English Stout
- Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
- Dry Czech Pilsner
The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.
“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”
Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.
CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary
At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.
Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.
Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.
“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”
Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops