Intuit Study Finds Today's Technology Hype is Tomorrow's Small Business Reality
10-year Forecast by Intuit and the Institute for the Future Sees Technology Driving Changes in Small Business Management
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – June 26, 2007 – Tomorrow's successful small business owners will be far more reliant on technology than their current counterparts. They'll be more connected in a mobile world, market to customers in ways only imagined today and blur the lines between the virtual and physical worlds as the hype surrounding today's technology becomes tomorrow's reality.
That's the vision of small business in the year 2017 as described in the second installment of the groundbreaking Intuit Future of Small Business Report™, a unique three-part study that looks ahead 10 years and examines the prospects, influences and profiles of small business.
The latest installment, sponsored by Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) and authored by the Institute for the Future, was released today. It focuses on how technology will propel and transform the small business sector. The first installment, released in January, explored the changing face of entrepreneurship, the rise of personal businesses and the emergence of entrepreneurship education. The third installment, to be released later this year, will examine how small businesses will affect society and the economy through 2017.
Three Trends Shape the Future
The study concludes that technology will revolutionize the very nature of running a small business and identifies three emerging technology trends.
On My Time, On My Terms
The first conclusion found that the emergent digitally connected world will allow small business owners to run their firms on their time and on their terms and led to three major findings:
Global, Local, Virtual
The second trend revealed that the next generation of the Web as it evolves beyond Web 2.0 will fuel small business formation, operations and innovation. This, too, led to three key findings:
"As technology advances connect the world, the power of peer networks will become super-sized as they expand beyond the traditional limits of who you know and what they know," said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's small business division. "As a result, small businesses will gain a huge resource to help them in making key decisions– other small companies who have been in their shoes – and will discover new ways to attract customers."
From Push to Pull
The third conclusion found that small business marketing will shift from a "push" to a "pull" mindset, with emphasis on providing customers and prospects with the right information in the right context at the right time. This trend has two main findings:
"The pace of technology change will continue to accelerate and the next decade will create an amazing array of entrepreneurial opportunities," said Steve King, senior advisor at the Institute for the Future and study co-author. "Traditionally late adopters of technology, small business owners who embrace new technologies and intelligent devices to efficiently manage operations and market their products and services will gain a competitive advantage."
About the Institute for the Future
Founded in 1968 by a group of former RAND Corporation researchers, the Institute for the Future is an independent nonprofit research group working with organizations of all kinds to help them make better, more informed decisions about the future. The IFTF takes an explicitly global approach to strategic planning, linking macro trends to local issues in such areas as technology and society, health and health care, and global business trends.
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks©, Quicken© and TurboTax© software, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries© and Lacerte© are Intuit's leading tax preparation software suites for professional accountants. The company's financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $2.3 billion in its fiscal year 2006. The company has more than 8,100 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
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