Are SMBs Embracing Automation? New airSlate Research Digs Deep

Are SMBs Embracing Automation? New airSlate Research Digs Deep

By Alex Passett

Earlier this year, I used pdfFiller as part of a task I needed to complete, and I was quite pleased with how easy it was to use. The task itself wasn’t earth-shatteringly difficult, but pdfFiller made it simpler, all the same.

Today, that quick-but-pleasant memory was dug up as I began drafting this article, one that reminded me of pdfFiller because it happens to be under the umbrella of airSlate; specifically, pdfFiller is part of airSlate Business Cloud, a business automation platform.

This was a happy little coincidence, and it transitions well into new research presented by airSlate, a company that innovates document workflows in order to create impacts on organizations’ bottom lines and to deliver superior experiences for both customers and employees alike. (Notably, also under the airSlate umbrella are SignNow and US Legal Forms; click those links, if interested.)

With more than 100 million users worldwide, 40-plus integrations with popular apps and CRM systems, and 500-plus vendors that sell their forms with the help of its marketplace, airSlate strives to empower anyone to digitally transform their document workflows and, in a sense, to sensibly automate success.

So, airSlate’s research. What’s it all about?

According to airSlate, many SMBs are reportedly eager and ready to harness reliable automation solutions (including AI) to scale and compete effectively across business landscapes. This couldn’t necessarily be said even two years ago, but it can be now.

The research report “Tech-Forward and Thriving: How SMBs are Primed to Embrace Automation and Supercharge Productivity” shows how the adoption of automation technologies, in airSlate’s words, “acts as a dynamic catalyst, shaping their strategies, growth trajectories, and competitive capabilities against larger and more resource-robust peers.” In its report, airSlate surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. SMBs on precisely how productivities are streamlined with automation in real-world use cases.

Here are the top takeaways:

  • SMBs are prioritizing business productivity solutions like document workflow automation and eSignature tools. In fact, 66% of respondents already actively utilize them, indicating a shift away from traditional “wet signatures” (i.e. the physical signing of a document). Automating this part of processes reflects a growing trend – and newfound trust, to boot – in securely signing documents electronically.
  • CRM solutions are gaining more traction with SMBs, as well. Per airSlate, the percentage of respondents that view automation through CRMs reached a staggering 97%, in terms of the U.S. respondents. That’s crucial, as CRMs can avail an abundance of resources for SMBs in need of support.
  • In terms of automation via AI in particular, airSlate thankfully noticed only 15% of surveyed SMBs are concerned with job displacement due to AI, as interactions amongst humans remains vital.
  • Respondents also indicated their appetites for a four-day work week, with 67% saying it’d be the top benefit of an improved work-life balance has been. This goes part and parcel with automation, as airSlate found, with 44% of financial and sales-oriented teams claiming that document automation (coupled with hybrid work environments) have smoothened work stresses and have become important to modern workplace success.

“Success today hinges on an SMB’s ability to employ highly productive and automated solutions to compete with larger (and often better-resourced) companies," said Shawn Herring, airSlate's CMO. "SMBs understand that customers expect seamless automated experiences to drive interactions, as do employees. But technology just 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.”

So while automation has yet to permeate every nook and cranny of the workforce, it’s clear that the trend is on the rise.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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