Australian businesses who innovated are better set up for a post-Covid world

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Australian businesses who innovated are better set up for a post-Covid world
Cloud technology has helped small businesses in Australia and the globe to weather a time of great upheaval.
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Research from Xero provides new insights around how its Australian ecosystem community was able to innovate in 2020, strengthening them for a post-pandemic world.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present major disruptions for many Australian businesses, but as we all know, our SMB community has always shown remarkable resilience under trying conditions. What is more surprising is just how much our community has used this opportunity to innovate.

Towards the end of 2020, we commissioned research with Lonergan to check in with our global ecosystem community to see what challenges, and opportunities, they saw in the market, and how we could better support them.

The Xero Ecosystem survey included 1435 app partners, developer partners, enterprise and financial services partners, alongside accountants/advisors and SMBs that have developed their own integrations or apps in-house. Nearly half of the survey respondents were based in Australia (46%).

We have worked hard to support not only our ecosystem community of developers, partners, accountants and advisors. Our Ecosystem is fortunate in that our small business platform is completely cloud based, which means Xero, and our partners, were perhaps more easily able to adapt to ‘working at home’ conditions, than some other ‘high touch’ physical retail focused industries.

Doing business in new ways

Our Australian ecosystem community has shown remarkable resiliency. Seventy six percent of Australian respondents believe they have identified new business opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 72 percent saw the development of tailored solutions for their customers as a key opportunity area going forward.

It’s a strong positive, and definitely part of Australia’s SMB culture, that instead of withdrawing into their shells to ride out the storm - they looked at the market as an opportunity: Seventy nine percent of Xero’s ecosystem community in Australia cited being better able to adapt than competitors as an opportunity in 2021, while 65 percent felt they had innovated more in 2020 than previous years.

What do we mean by innovation?

For our Australian Xeros, innovation in their work life means increasing efficiency (51%), turning ideas into something that worked (39%), anticipating tomorrow’s needs (36%), and producing positive change for the customer (32%).

Our Australian ecosystem community fared better than average when it comes to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on revenue and profitability: forty five percent experienced a positive impact on revenue; compared to the total survey average of 40 percent. While 46 percent experienced a positive impact on profitability. In addition, the Australian ecosystem community spent an average of AUD$14,398 on innovation in 2020.

Cloud technology has helped small businesses in Australia and the globe to weather a time of great upheaval, bringing opportunities to build transformative and innovative solutions for everyone.

You can view the full research report here: “Xero Ecosystem Survey Report 2021”

Nick Houldsworth is the Executive General Manager Ecosystem at Xero.

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