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Much of the slowdown in productivity growth since the global financial crisis is concentrated in a “long tail” of unusually inefficient SMEs. A new policy initiative addresses this – but is this a failure of the TMT sector?


  • Low-productivity SMEs are concentrated in the HoReCa sector and in companies with fewer than 49 employees.
  • Information-intensive sectors like the supply chain have very few laggards.
  • We highlight four examples of CSPs that are delivering more effective IT support into the SME market.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies and sizes the long tail of low-productivity SMEs.
  • Assesses the potential impact of government policy on the problem.

Key questions answered

  • Which SME sectors and size classes are underserved with ICT?
  • How are CSPs pricing premium support?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for CSPs
  • Recommendations for vendors

UK productivity after the great crisis

  • The slowdown

A long tail of unproductive SMEs?

  • The SME factor
  • Andrew Haldane's March 2017 speech

The long tail of low-productivity firms is concentrated by sector – and may have something to do with ICT

  • Horrible HoReCa
  • Thriving: business services, IT, and logistics

Addressing the long tail with ICT support

  • Be the business – doing something about it
  • Ovum survey findings on UK SMEs


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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