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How SMBs Are Primed To Embrace Automation And Supercharge Productivity

SMBs embrace the future, ready to harness the power of AI and automation

New research from airSlate reveals respondents rank business productivity solutions including document workflow and esignature tools as most pressing technology needs. Read the full report here.

October 02, 2023 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time–SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New research from airSlate, a leader in document workflow automation solutions, reveals that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are ready and eager to harness the power of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to scale and compete effectively in today’s business landscape.

airSlate’s research, presented in a report, “Tech-forward and thriving: How SMBs are primed to embrace automation and supercharge productivity,” proves that the adoption of automation technology acts as a dynamic catalyst, shaping their strategies, growth trajectories, and competitive capabilities against their larger and more resource-robust peers.

The survey of more than 1,000 U.S. SMBs, conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of airSlate, suggests that investing in the right business technology solutions and streamlining an unwieldy tech stack are essential to an organization becoming more productive. While tapping into a range of tech solutions, SMBs agree business productivity solutions are the most pressing, which is why document workflow automation and esignature tools are a priority.

With an estimated 30 million SMBs in the U.S., finding one’s competitive advantage is essential. Furthermore, with over 99% of U.S. businesses categorized as SMBs, the cohort has an extraordinary opportunity to influence and shape the future of automation.

The Right Tech At The Right Price

SMBs seek purpose-built and cost-effective tech solutions to optimize their operations, with ease of use and affordability as top considerations when making purchase decisions. More than half of the survey’s respondents are considering switching from their current document automation solutions in search of better value. They are focused on investing in quality over quantity and streamlining their technology stacks.

airSlate’s research reveals:

  • SMBs prioritize business productivity solutions like document workflow automation and esignature tools.
  • A significant shift from traditional wet signatures to digital signatures, with two-thirds of respondents already using digital signatures in business operations. This reflects a growing trend and newfound trust in digital signatures as a secure and safe way of signing documents electronically.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are gaining importance among SMBs, with 97% of respondents viewing them as crucial, a recent development as CRMs were viewed as predominantly geared toward enterprises with abundant resources.

The Benefits Of Automation

Success today hinges on an SMB’s ability to employ highly productive, automated solutions to compete with larger, often better-resourced companies...

The majority of SMBs are optimistic about automation and its impacts, notably time and cost benefits. They believe that human interaction remains vital, with less than 15% concerned about job displacement.

  • Survey respondents have an appetite for a 4-day work week, with 66.1% saying the No. 1 benefit would be improved work-life balance. Additional benefits include increased productivity, cost savings, and enhanced talent recruitment and retention.
  • Currently, finance and sales teams are the two verticals that find document automation and eSignature solutions most important to their success.
  • 44% of finance and 41% of sales teams surveyed find document workflow automation and eSignature solutions critical.

Low-Code/No-Code Potential

While low-code/no-code tools are gaining popularity, over half of SMBs have yet to explore these document automation tools. Adoption typically occurs through external tech collaborators or internal “citizen developers.”

airSlate offers a suite of no-code products designed to streamline document workflows and democratize access to automation, including airSlate Workflow, airSlate SignNow, pdfFiller, DocHub, US Legal Forms, Document Automation Hub, and signNow API. Additionally, airSlate Academy provides free courses to support automation mastery.

“Success today hinges on an SMB’s ability to employ highly productive, automated solutions to compete with larger, often better-resourced companies,” said Shawn Herring, airSlate’s CMO. “SMBs understand their customers expect a seamless, automated experience to drive their interactions, as do employees. But technology for technology’s sake is never a good solution, and our research indicates that SMBs need purpose-built solutions to help them grow and scale at a sustainable but significant level. The proper tools are necessary to achieve optimal business outcomes.”

To learn more about how SMBs embrace automation, read the full report, or explore automation solutions, contact airSlate today.




About airSlate
airSlate is a global SaaS technology company that serves over a hundred million users worldwide with its document workflow and automation solutions. The company’s PDF editing, eSignature workflow, and business process automation solutions empower users to digitally transform their businesses to run faster and easier. airSlate, pdfFiller, signNow, USLegal, and DocHub make up the company’s portfolio of award-winning products. airSlate is backed by leading venture capitalists and corporate investors including General Catalyst, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, HighSage Ventures, UiPath Ventures and GSquared.