A survey of Canadian SMBs, conducted by Ipsos Reid for Microsoft, like a similar survey conducted in the United States, found that younger folks are generally quicker to adopt technology than older entrepreneurs.
That's not to say that older folks are Luddites. But they seem interested in using technology primarily to help manage and preserve existing business, while the younger SMB executives want to use it to spur growth of new business.
According to a recent ITBusiness.ca article, more than 47 percent of respondents ages 55 and older report using e-mail to manage their business records and client information.Thirty-eight percent of the youngest group of execs, ages 18 to 34, use CRM software for this function.
The SMB segment manager for Microsoft Canada attributes this to "different, but not necessarily conflicting" views about business. The good news is, the survey results seem to indicate that the execs believe in playing off each other's strengths, with older entrepreneurs increasingly comfortable turning to younger folks for technology advice and younger folks trying to use technology to build on existing strengths.
In an anecdote related in the article, for example, the daughter of a business founder moved most of the company's records and contact lists from paper to a CRM system -- but she continues to stress her father's practice of fostering strong customer relationships through personal contact with clients.