New research suggests that technology plays a critical role in the expansion of scale-up businesses.

The research finds that half of the 500 scale-ups it surveyed think technology has been critical to their expansion.

This is nearly three times that of non-scale-ups.

The report says that many scale-ups in the UK have emerged from sectors where technology is central to their business model, such as in the construction and manufacturing industries.

“Over 250,000 SMEs worry about the impact that technology will have on their business’s continuity when, instead, they should be considering how to use it to their advantage,” the report says.

The business defined a scale-up as a business which has achieved at least 20 per cent growth in employees or turnover over a three year period and with at least ten employees.

The ‘Dream bigger: The scale-up moment’ report also found that more traditional growth business are reticent about embracing technology, with one in 20 micro-businesses perceiving technology as a threat.

“This is misguided — any business aiming to survive, let alone grow, has no choice but to invest in technology,” said Sancho Simmonds, Partner, Smith & Williamson, ScaleUp Institute Board Director.

The report, which is the result of a 500-strong survey of UK scale-ups, also shows that twice as many scale-up business leaders are aged 18-34 year-olds compared to slower growth peers.

“Scale-ups are more optimistic, more bullish and consequently take more risks,” said Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services, Smith & Williamson.

“They embrace technology and innovation openly, using it to their advantage.

“From the outset, they have an appetite for growth and foster a culture of learning and openness, while keeping a close eye on the competition.

“These traits need not be exclusive to high-growth businesses; any business leader daring to dream bigger can use them as the building blocks for future growth.”