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Most small businesses around the world are relying on apps and the cloud – survey


Most small businesses around the world are using the cloud and relying on apps to run their business, according to a multi-country study recently released by Intuit. The study, which focused on small businesses in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia revealed that 64% of small businesses run in the cloud, 68% use apps, and 66% use a smartphone.

In addition, small business owners are seeing – and experiencing – the long-term effect of mobile and web-based apps on their bottom line, allowing them to focus on growing their business.

The “2016 Appification of Small Business Report” is a first-of-its-kind study, providing insights from 2,000 small business owners/managers. It also reveals a huge opportunity for small business app developers worldwide. The study also examines the attitude of small business owners who are not using apps to better understand their barriers of entry and the factors that could drive them to use apps.

While tech-savvy businesses are integrating apps in record numbers, they are also running into persistent barriers with existing apps, according to the study. About two in five small businesses believe there are too many apps to choose from. 41% say they are unsure of which apps are best suited for their business, and 39% are concerned with costs to integrate and train on apps. Complexity was an issue for 23%.

“We’re thrilled that small business owners around the world are transforming how they run their business, and integrating innovative new technologies to improve how they operate,” said Vinay Pai, vice president and head of the Intuit Developer Group.

“Insights from this global study further reinforce our strategy to focus on delivering quality apps that eliminate our customers’ biggest pain points. By enabling third-parties to build high-quality integrations that run seamlessly with QuickBooks, we offer the best outcomes for developers, partners and our small business customers.”

What did the survey find out about app use?

68% of small businesses in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia are currently using mobile or web-based apps to help run their operations, eliminate administrative tasks and shift their focus to growing their business. A total of 82% of small businesses that use apps reported using between one and six apps to run their business.

“As an owner of a boutique, I need to consistently adapt, evolve and stay relevant to my customers by utilizing the best technologies to run my business,” said Hope Colling, owner of Marmalade Boutique in San Francisco.

“QuickBooks has transformed my business by seamlessly integrating with Square, my point-of-sale system, and Stitch Labs, my inventory management tool. Information from these solutions flow so well together, it has allowed me to focus on delivering amazing products and service to my customers.”

“Using cloud-based tools has made my job easier so I can work on parts of the business that need my attention and do the things I enjoy the most,” said Matthew Jones, general manager at the Carrington Hotel in Sydney, Australia.

“Having financial management tools that effortlessly integrate with QuickBooks has been huge for us. It saves me seven to ten hours of work each week by eliminating data entry and other administrative tasks. It also allows me to work seamlessly with our accountant and owner, providing all of us access to important financial information anytime, anywhere.”