Verizon State of Small Business Survey Finds Small Businesses Want AI

Published On: October 29, 2023Categories: Buzz

Verizon Business has announced the findings of its fourth annual State of Small Business Survey, generated through responses from 681 small and midsize businesses across the country. The data suggest that small businesses have a constant need to increase connectivity to meet business demands and are exploring the applications of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), but as their technology dependence grows, looming concerns regarding cybersecurity persist.

“The fact that nearly half of small and midsize businesses are either using or are aware of the AI-specific use cases that can drive their companies forward highlights what we hear from our customers every day regarding their desire to stay ahead of the pace of change to drive their business forward,” said Aparna Khurjekar, Chief Revenue Officer, Business Markets and SaaS, at Verizon Business.

More than a third of small and midsize businesses (35%) believe AI can help offset pain points caused by labor shortages. Additionally, to enable small business owners to spend more time on their core business and with customers, 46% would find value or are using AI to drive order processing, and the same amount also see AI being utilized in inventory management and supply chain operations.

Though more small and midsize businesses are exploring AI solutions, many are still leery of its implementation. Nearly half (45%) are concerned about integrating AI solutions, and 43% are worried AI tools will expose them to cybersecurity risks.

Meanwhile, internet bandwidth continues to be an issue. In 2020, more than a quarter (27%) of small and midsize companies upgraded their internet connection bandwidth. The economic shutdown drove much of that, as businesses had no choice but to operate digitally in order to reach customers.

In addition, a good portion of small and midsize businesses are failing to invest in cybersecurity proportionately to their investment in internet bandwidth and other technology upgrades. Only one in three have implemented new systems of technology to ensure security, and almost half (45%) do not offer their employees any training on cybersecurity practices.

Inflation remains a top concern. Eighty-one percent of respondents are concerned about the impact inflation will have on their business. Four out of five business owners have experienced increased costs in the last year. Additionally, 59% have either raised or planned to raise the prices of goods and services and a similar number (57%) have either reduced or plan to reduce their spending on non-essential items and activities. In spite of these concerns, most business owners (63%) are expecting an increase in demand this holiday season.

Channel Impact®
The data provide important clues regarding where channel partners should be looking to expand their influence within customer organizations.

Stay in the Know

Keep tabs on what’s happening in the channel and the impact it will have on the partner community by subscribing to Channel Impact communications.

Recent News

Search Buzz

Buzz Categories