Millennials and Gen X leading tech adoption in microbusinesses

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

HP has revealed 56% of millennials (27 to 42-year-olds) and 55% of Gen X (43 to 58-year-olds) strongly believe that adopting technology for business is a smart choice for the future.

But findings from the HP Smart Where IT Matters Study, show a generational gap is apparent, as Gen Z microbusiness owners now sit alongside baby boomers in displaying high levels of doubt and resistance to technology adoption in the Asian markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Across the region, 77% of microbusinesses view technology as critical in helping mitigate business challenges. In Malaysia, 54% of millennials see technology adoption as a customary to success, and 57% of Gen X view it as crucial for securing their future business endeavours. However, this enthusiasm for technology is met with scepticism within certain demographic groups.

Regionally, 69% of baby boomers (59 years and above) see no clear benefit or return from investing in technology and 57% of Gen Z (19 to 26-year-olds) expressing similar doubts on the benefits of technology investments.

Mirroring this pattern, 70% of baby boomers and 58% of Gen Z in Malaysia, echo this sentiment. Surprisingly, even 42% of Gen X locally express concern about cost considerations in their technology investments citing challenges linked to heightened competition, rising expenses, and tight cash flow conditions.

The study conducted by research firm Kantar and commissioned by HP, surveyed approximately 1,200 microbusiness owners to explore the dynamics of technology adoption in Southeast Asia.

The study findings suggest that for microbusinesses to thrive in the digital age, Gen X and Millennials must take the lead to dispel lingering technology fear uncertainty and doubt.

Over 70% of all microbusinesses fear the complexity and security of new emerging technologies, which highlights the prevailing challenge that business owners face when considering new investments.

“Microbusiness owners want to beat the competition, grow customers and revenue, be more efficient with time and money, so technology cannot be complex and intimidating. Technology simply has to work, be seamless, secure, and today it must also be sustainable,” said Alex Tan, Managing Director of HP Inc, Malaysia. 

Simple and Smart Overcome Fear and Doubt

While doubts remain, they have not stopped microbusinesses making the most of technology where the ROI has been clear and obvious. One key finding showed that 85% of microbusinesses in the region use smartphones and tablets to run their business, with 59% using printers for business.

The HP study also highlights how business owners across Southeast Asia value simple smarts with 55% citing the ability to print and scan directly through mobile as a highly valued feature, while 56% value the ability to scan documents and share instantly on the cloud.

“In light of today’s business owner priorities, the ability to provide seamless, smart and sustainable printing on the go with high capacity and performance, can be critical to the smooth running of fast-growing microbusinesses everywhere,” added Tan.

In Malaysia, microbusinesses seek a printer that is both convenient and cost-effective.

  1. 55% of business owners prioritize the capability to scan documents and instantly share them on the cloud for enhanced convenience.
  2. 52% of business owners value the ability to print documents whenever necessary.
  3. 49% of business owners highly value the ability to print and scan directly from mobile devices.
  4. 47% emphasize the importance of printing speed, which helps boost workflow efficiency.
  5. 26% of microbusiness owners prioritize low operational and maintenance costs, aligning with a budget-conscious approach.