Complexity is the enemy of SMB growth; it makes operating an efficient company that much more difficult. At the SAP SME Summit held yesterday, Nov. 10, 2015 in New York City, German software company SAP SE officially released new research illustrating the importance of starting simply for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to achieve success.

Referring to these enterprises as SMEs (small to midsize enterprises), SAP’s joint research with Knowledge@Wharton, the online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, found that 72 percent of leaders and team members at SMEs believe that business complexity is hampering decision-making and making it difficult to achieve business goals. Technology should be what simplifies business, but over half of these same respondents (58 percent) pointed the finger at technology as the source of complexity.

Yet there’s no escaping technology. SMB growth hinges on its adoption. At the SAP SME Summit, four SMB company leaders shared the importance of becoming digital organizations in a panel discussion. These organizations may have discovered the way to become digital, and simply, but less than half of their peers (49 percent) believe that business simplification is necessary today. As their companies grow, however, what was a minor inconvenience could become a major headache.

“Business simplification is much more important to small and medium business than ever before,” said Rodolpho Cardenuto, president, Global Partner Operations, SAP in a prepared statement distributed in person to members of the press in attendance.

That rang especially true when the study looked at business strategy for the next three years; 65 percent of respondents believe that simplification will be critical for SMB growth. Simplification is the key to becoming digital and connected, according to SAP, and in the digital economy, running simple grows more important as the enterprise expands. It makes sense to start at the beginning with simplicity before the enterprise becomes too large to simplify.

The full Knowledge@Wharton white paper and infographic discussing the survey are available.