SME optimism high ahead of Olympics, says Cisco

Cisco has published research suggesting that the SME sector will be the driver of economic recovery in the UK, and talked up the importance of the 2012 Olympics in "kick-starting" the UK economy. The networking giant published its 'Business Heroes Barometer' report today, revealing that 41

Cisco has published research suggesting that the SME sector will be the driver of economic recovery in the UK, and talked up the importance of the 2012 Olympics in "kick-starting" the UK economy.

The networking giant published its 'Business Heroes Barometer' report today, revealing that 41% of the UK's small businesses were beginning to recognise the opportunities that the games will bring, while 39% recognising the role it will play in boosting the economy, even beyond London.

Its report found that 44% of SMEs had increased sales in the last 12 months, scotching talk of a double-dip recession, according to Cisco UK and Ireland SME director David Critchley.

"That almost half of SMEs increased their revenues in 2010, amidst talk of nothing but austerity, is testament to their role as the engine room of the economy," he said.

The survey found that 55% of firms planned to invest in IT and network infrastructure in 2011, with 35% keen on video conferencing and 25% expressing an interest in moving to a cloud environment.

There was also good news for advocates of remote working; 72% planned to invest in technology to support flexible working arrangements, while just under half were actively using social media in a sales and marketing context.

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