Canadian Small Businesses Not Ready for Digital Transformation, Say Staff

AUSTIN, Texas–()–COVID-19 is forcing businesses to digitally transform how they operate. From enabling teams to work remotely to training employees, technology has never been more critical. Yet, a new Canadian study by Beagle Research Group and sponsored by Zoho reveals that technology systems have not kept up with changing times.

According to this April 2020 survey of employees at 208 Canadian businesses, two-thirds of staff give their workplace tech tools a failing grade. Sixty-four per cent of respondents do not think their technology helps them be productive while working in the office or remotely. This sentiment is worse for businesses with fewer than 500 employees where more than two-thirds of staff lack confidence in their tech and another 88 per cent say it takes too long to build systems to support their job.

“Technology, when combined with people and processes is a winning formula for business,” said LSP Chandrasekhar, Zoho’s Canadian Evangelist. “However, employees feel that their work tech is failing. Where businesses could once satisfy any two of the three components and be reasonably well off, today businesses require all three components to succeed.”

Technology highlights include:

  • 64 per cent of employees give their technology infrastructure a failing grade.
  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are the most dissatisfied with their work technology with 68 per cent saying they lack confidence in their tech.
  • 88 per cent say it takes too long to build systems that support their job.
  • Sales department employees are among the most dissatisfied, with 59 per cent saying they lack confidence in their tech infrastructure.

Conversely, the survey revealed that even though employees struggle with their technology, they are happy at work. Eighty per cent of employees feel engaged and aligned with their employers’ business and think their management is competent.

Engagement, Alignment and Competence Highlights:

  • 73 per cent have a sense of purpose in their work.
  • 70 per cent say they take pride in their job.
  • 66 per cent say their boss is knowledgeable and communicates clearly.
  • 64 per cent say it’s easy to align their work with the objectives of the business.

“The survey shows that businesses have done a good job in the traditional management areas of goal setting, alignment, and inspiring performance,” continued LSP. “Technology systems, however, have not kept up with changing times and upgrading those systems may be the surest route to improved company performance, particularly as we now rely on a more remote, decentralized workforce.”

Infographic: Employees say Canadian Businesses Not Ready for Digital Transformation

Access the Findings

Report Methodology

Conducted in April 2020 by Beagle Research Group, LLC, this study surveyed 509 individuals across the United States and Canada. Participants of the study ranged from non-executive and non-managerial employees at small and enterprise businesses in a variety of industries.

About Zoho

With 45+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho Corporation is one of the world’s most prolific software companies. Zoho is privately held and profitable with more than 8,000 employees. Zoho is headquartered in Austin, Texas with international headquarters in Chennai, India. Additional offices are in the United States, India, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates. Zoho respects user privacy and does not have an ad-revenue model in any part of its business, including its free products. More than 50 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself. For more information, please visit

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

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