Here at the UK IT Association (UKITA) we are always keeping an eye on
research to see which business trends SME’s are currently following that
may help you in your IT or Digital Media business, and the Forum of
Private Business (FPB) have recently commissioned a report to see which
IT areas businesses are most concerned with.
They surveyed 4000
members and the results that came back are very interesting. The single
area that had most support was e-invoicing, with 47% of FPB members
stating that they were already using e-invoicing or that they would be
using e-invoicing by the end of the year. Only 38% said they have no
plans to incorporate e-invoicing, with most of those citing the
difficulty of linking their current credit control systems with new
software with Phil Orford, Chief Executive of the FPB saying, "If the
government can tackle the biggest barrier of interoperability with
credit control procedures then this figure is likely to jump much
The main benefit that companies believed they would gain
by the use of e-invoicing was the ease of chasing up bad payers and the
improvements it made to the overall credit control efficiency.
gap in the market for simple software that can be integrated with
current systems while meeting all government requirements represents a
unique opportunity for SME’s working within the IT sector to take
advantage of the specialist knowledge they have to get ahead of the game
in using electronic invoicing themselves. And it may provide a further
opportunity for software development companies to develop their own
software solutions for prospective clients.
Other areas of note
were cloud computing, with 27% considering moving some or all of their
IT services to the cloud, with security and connectivity being the
biggest barriers to consideration. Finally, nearly a quarter of all
businesses believe that the key technical requirement for improvement to
their business is improved broadband speed.
considering specialisation in 4G technologies the outlook was less rosy,
with only 4% believing 4G would affect the way they do business.
Hayworth of Celeris Ltd has this this to say on the advantages of
E-invoicing. “The best and yet least obvious time to implement
eInvoicing is in the early stages of a company’s development. There are
certainly more options for SMEs now, ranging from simple web-based
invoice input or invoice file uploads - to the more recent Cloud based
ERP solutions offering full end-to-end integration. Automating
processes (such as orders, invoices, and payments) while sales volumes
are low and systems are still fairly flexible, puts a business on course
to expand with a much leaner cost model. It also motivates employees
to constantly think about how they might automate each new process
rather than calculate how many more staff they might need to administer
it.” Mairi Hayworth is an eInvoicing expert and Operations Director at
Celeris Limited - a UK based eBusiness consulting firm and UKITA member.
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