Integrated applications are an exciting and innovative factor of 21st century business technology - but are they really that great? We certainly think so, and Xero’s latest report shows us that the numbers definitely add up.

Integrations can be a real asset to any kind of business, whether big, small, brand new or centuries old. The idea that developers, using APIs and coding languages, can build a bridge between almost any two different platforms, like for example job management software and an accounting package, is huge.

Apps can really change how businesses complete workflows and processes; consider how data entry used to be done - i.e. using pens, paper and filing systems - and compare that with the quick and minimal workflows associated with data today, thanks in most part to computers, cloud-based systems and integrations - the evolutional arc that this common administrative process has undertaken is almost unbelievable, and it’s occurred in most part thanks to integration applications!

However, while they are truly innovative in both concept and theory, there are of course those that question whether or not this kind of corner-cutting in business is really beneficial to overall performance and functionality.

Well, thankfully, our friends over at Xero have run the numbers, and things are definitely looking good when it comes to the relationship between business performance and integrations.

In a special report titled From little things big things grow: How digital connectivity is helping Australian small businesses thrive, Xero partnered with economics consultancy AlphaBeta to break down and analyse data from a tremendous number of small businesses on Xero (we’re talking tens of thousands!). They then compared the performance of those using integration apps with those that weren’t, and a story of success unfolded.

Now we won’t tell you the whole tale because we think that’s something you should find out for yourself over at Xero Small Business Insights. However, here are some of the more notary findings from the report:

  • The use of integrated apps in businesses on Xero has lead to revenue growth: Businesses on Xero with at least one integrated app grew revenue by an average 5.5% a year, compared with just 3.6% for businesses with no apps.
  • The more integrated apps you use, the better: App usage and revenue growth scale up together; small businesses with four apps averaged around 11% revenue growth.
  • Employees want to work with integrations: Businesses that adopt apps typically recorded twice the rate of employment growth in the previous year as business with no apps.

If you’re interested in learning more about this data, make sure that you check out the full report here. To learn more about Xero Small Business Insights, click here.