Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are planning to put an average of £85,000 into digital technologies and systems over the next 12 months, research claims.
Alternative lender Nucleus Commercial Finance, which conducted the analysis, said this shows the pandemic has sparked a long-term digital shift.
46 per cent of respondents said they have built or expanded their online offerings since the start of the pandemic.
There does seem to be a generational digital divide though.
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Expected digital spend climbs to £125,000 among younger, more tech-savvy SME leaders aged 18 to 34, compared with just £17,000 for older business leaders from age 55.
Top tech priorities for business leaders over the next year include improving their company website (29 per cent) and spending on digital advertising (19 per cent).
“Many SMEs were still bricks and mortar businesses when Covid-19 struck, and so quickly adapting and setting up digital solutions presented a far greater challenge than faced by most large organisations.” Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance, said.
“Businesses quickly adapted, setting up online offerings to continue to cater to their audiences, but they now see a major opportunity in a digital world and plan to invest significantly in the next 12 months.
“To ensure SMEs can build and implement their ambitious digital strategies, the government and the lending industry needs to continue to provide support for SMEs and help them bounce back stronger in an accelerated digital age.”