Old technology cost UK SMEs £8.3bn in recent downturn

By Dawinderpal Sahota
12 Jul 2011 View Comments
A briefcase full of cash

UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lost about £8.3bn in earnings as a result of not upgrading their tech equipment during the downturn, according to financial firm GE Capital's SME Capex Barometer.

In fact, one in eight SMEs (12.5 per cent) said they had lost out on new income or new business opportunities as a result of dated or inefficient equipment.

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Many of these firms put off replacing their equipment as a result of the downturn.

On average, each SME claimed it lost around £8,301.

However, these businesses are looking to make up for lost time, with UK SMEs planning to invest a total of £13.7bn in IT equipment over the next 12 months, according to the survey.

On average, UK SMEs plan to spend £18,415 each on IT hardware and £12,502 on software.

IT hardware refreshes are a particularly high priority, with 85 per cent of companies stating that they were looking to invest. The companies plan to spend a total of £8.6bn upgrading existing company laptops, servers and other hardware.

"Despite popular belief, the appetite for investment in growth among UK SMEs is actually very strong, with many businesses having reached a tipping point where putting off investment is no longer possible without compromising the business," said John Jenkins, chief executive of GE Capital UK.

"Many businesses not planning to invest in the next year have already recently upgraded, further illustrating that we are in the midst of significant renewal."

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