South Australia is leading the nation in Cloud adoption according to a new study which also reveals early adopters are more like see a lift in business revenue.
The latest MYOB Business Monitor Report, which surveyed 1022 Australian SMEs, found South Australians had the highest proportion using cloud for business (18 per cent) while Victorians and Queenslanders had the lowest (15 per cent).
South Australians and Western Australians led social media usage (37 per cent each), while New South Welshmen brought up the rear (33 per cent).
Queenslanders and Western Australians were most likely to not have an online presence at all (53 per cent).
The report also found less than four in 10 (38 per cent) have a business website - unchanged on six months prior. Twelve per cent of these operators also have a business social media site, and a further 8 per cent have a social media site only.
The proportion using social media in some way for business rose to 33 per cent - up on 21 per cent. Only 16 per cent of SMEs said they use Cloud computing in business - also unchanged on six months prior. Tellingly, business operators who use online technologies were more likely to see a revenue rise in the 12 months to August this year.
Those with both a business website and a social media site (12 per cent) were at least 63 per cent more likely to see revenue rise than those who didn't have one of these sites.
This leading edge was followed by SMEs using Cloud computing, who were 59 per cent more likely to see an annual revenue rise than non-cloud users.
Business Division General Manager, James Scollay, said there was tremendous scope for Australian business operators to boost their financial performance, strengthen customer acquisition and retention, enjoy work environment flexibility and improve business productivity by using online technologies. "Businesses that use online technologies are increasingly outperforming their less tech savvy competitors," he said.
"That's why it's vital for government and business leaders to work together with our business community, sharing knowledge about the benefits of embracing the online world and supporting them on their journey. Even the simplest insights can make the world of difference to a business. "Half our respondents don't have an online presence. Our research found those using a website and social media in business say these efforts produce more customer enquiries or leads and greater sales conversions.
He said SMEs using Cloud technology said it reduces IT costs, allows access to more technology and enhances their ability to work remotely.
"One third of SMEs are missing out on many benefits -- a proportion that is way too high in this digital age. They are in danger of being left behind other businesses that have taken the online leap."
The finance and insurance sector had the highest proportion of operators using cloud computing for business (36 per cent), compared to agribusiness (4 per cent). SMEs in finance and insurance led social media usage (52 per cent)), while the lowest proportion was in agribusiness (19 per cent).
More than three quarters of agribusiness operators said they did not have an online presence (76 per cent).
Start-ups and establishing businesses were more online-enabled -- 19 per cent of each were using Cloud computing for business.
In contrast, only 8 per cent of established businesses were using Cloud. Start-ups were also more likely to have a business website (43 per cent) while establishing businesses were more likely to use social media (44 per cent).