Friday, May 17, 2024

Canadian SMBs are Embracing AI for Growth and Success

Recent data from Microsoft indicates that small businesses are starting to see the advantages of using AI technology. With fewer resources compared to larger companies, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Canada can't afford to waste time and effort on tedious tasks. Although AI has clear benefits for SMBs, such as reducing the workload for administrative tasks and automating repetitive jobs like tracking orders and handling customer inquiries, adoption of AI among them has been slow (Dais).

A recent study conducted by Edelman Mexico and Microsoft in January of this year found that Canadian SMBs are moving from simply being interested in AI to actually taking steps to implement it. However, concerns about training and security are holding some back from fully embracing AI.

SMBs are vital to Canada's economy. According to Statistics Canada, SMBs make up nearly 98 percent of all employer businesses and employ about two-thirds of all workers. They also contribute more than half of the GDP attributed to the business sector. Therefore, when SMBs thrive, the Canadian economy benefits.

By integrating AI into their operations, SMBs can boost productivity, competitiveness, and innovation, while also creating new opportunities for growth and social impact. For those already using AI, the majority report positive impacts on productivity, work quality, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.

Despite these benefits, some challenges remain. SMBs are worried about maintaining strong cybersecurity and ensuring their staff are properly trained to use AI tools effectively. This underscores the importance of providing SMBs with education and support as they navigate the AI transformation.

Microsoft, together with Interlock IT, is dedicated to helping small businesses in Canada with tools and learning resources to adjust to the evolving business environment. These tools are creative and are helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) improve their operations, make customers happier, and come up with new ways of doing business. Thanks to AI-based analysis, Canadian SMBs are learning important things about what's happening in the market and what customers like, which helps them make smarter decisions. Also, AI-powered automation is making things simpler, cheaper, and more effective. Because of this support, small businesses in Canada aren't just surviving – they're doing really well in a tough global market.

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