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HP Study: Millennials and Gen X Leading Tech Adoption in Microbusinesses

Research affirms that smarter, simpler, and secure technology is what matters for microbusinesses[1] in mitigating business challenges

News Highlights 

  • Across the Southeast Asian markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, 77% of microbusinesses view technology as critical in helping mitigate business challenges.
  • But over 70% also fear growing complexity of keeping up with technology and rising security threats, with Gen Z and baby boomers showing greatest fear and doubt over technology ROI. Gen X in Malaysia also show concern with 42% emphasizing cost of technology investment.
  • Despite this generational difference, more than 8 in 10 (85%) microbusinesses are using smartphones and tablets to run their business, and 59% are currently using printers.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — HP has revealed 56% of millennials (27 to 42-year-olds) and 55% of Gen X (43 to 58-year-olds) strongly believe that adopting technology for business is a smart choice for the future. But findings from the HP Smart Where IT Matters Study[2], show a generational gap is apparent, as Gen Z microbusiness owners now sit alongside baby boomers in displaying high levels of doubt and resistance to technology adoption in the Asian markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Across the region, 77% of microbusinesses view technology as critical in helping mitigate business challenges. In Malaysia, 54% of millennials see technology adoption as a customary to success, and 57% of Gen X view it as crucial for securing their future business endeavours. However, this enthusiasm for technology is met with scepticism within certain demographic groups.

Regionally, 69% of baby boomers (59 years and above) see no clear benefit or return from investing in technology and 57% of Gen Z (19 to 26-year-olds) expressing similar doubts on the benefits of technology investments.

Mirroring this pattern, 70% of baby boomers and 58% of Gen Z in Malaysia, echo this sentiment. Surprisingly, even 42% of Gen X locally express concern about cost considerations in their technology investments citing challenges linked to heightened competition, rising expenses, and tight cash flow conditions.

The study conducted by research firm Kantar and commissioned by HP, surveyed approximately 1,200 microbusiness owners to explore the dynamics of technology adoption in Southeast Asia.

The study findings suggest that for microbusinesses to thrive in the digital age, Gen X and Millennials must take the lead to dispel lingering technology fear uncertainty and doubt. Over 70% of all microbusinesses fear the complexity and security of new emerging technologies, which highlights the prevailing challenge that business owners face when considering new investments.

“HP recognises the vital importance of thriving microbusinesses to the growth of Malaysia’s economy. Microbusiness owners want to beat the competition, grow customers and revenue, be more efficient with time and money, so technology cannot be complex and intimidating. Technology simply has to work, be seamless, secure, and today it must also be sustainable,” said Alex Tan, Managing Director of HP Inc, Malaysia. “HP is committed to building technology that is smart where it matters most and builds trust while empowering businesses of all generations and sizes to thrive in the emerging digital economy with confidence and ease.”

Simple and Smart Overcome Fear and Doubt

While doubts remain, they have not stopped microbusinesses making the most of technology where the ROI has been clear and obvious. One key finding showed that 85% of microbusinesses in the region use smartphones and tablets to run their business, with 59% using printers for business.

HP has ensured the same level of technology convenience and simplicity with its recently launched HP Smart Tank 700[3] and 500 Series printer[4]. The HP study also highlights how business owners across Southeast Asia value simple smarts with 55% citing the ability to print and scan directly through mobile as a highly valued feature, while 56% value the ability to scan documents and share instantly on the cloud.

“Technologies like the HP Smart Tank and HP Smart App remove complexity by providing a smart print experience that works from anywhere, anytime, any device. In light of today’s business owner priorities, the ability to provide seamless, smart and sustainable printing on the go with high capacity and performance, can be critical to the smooth running of fast-growing microbusinesses everywhere,” added Tan.

In Malaysia, microbusinesses seek a printer that is both convenient and cost-effective.

  1. 55% of business owners prioritize the capability to scan documents and instantly share them on the cloud for enhanced convenience.
  2. 52% of business owners value the ability to print documents whenever necessary.
  3. 49% of business owners highly value the ability to print and scan directly from mobile devices.
  4. 47% emphasize the importance of printing speed, which helps boost workflow efficiency.
  5. 26% of microbusiness owners prioritize low operational and maintenance costs, aligning with a budget-conscious approach.

HP Smart Tank is an example of a simple, no-fuss technology that helps businesses overcome prevailing fear uncertainty and doubt. Tailored for microbusinesses, HP’s Office-In-A-Box addresses need with affordable, customizable solutions featuring printers, laptops, and Poly’s hybrid-ready peripherals, and enjoy savings of up to RM5,000

HP’s belief is that or microbusinesses especially, technology matters most to them when it can be trusted to operate seamlessly – providing a no-fuss experience that just works; trusted to perform for a better business – deliver reliable performance as promised with security; and trusted for a better planet – drive a sustainable business and lifestyle.

For more information on the HP Smart Tank Series Printers and the HP Smart App, click HERE.

[1] Defined as businesses with an employee size of 10 and below

[2] Methodology: HP commissioned an online survey managed by Kantar that fielded between 19 July to 9 August 2023, in 4 countries: Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. HP surveyed 1,230 respondents in total, with business owners of companies that have 10 or less employees (~300  each country).

[3] Compared to OEM printing apps for the majority of top-selling, network-capable inkjet/laser printers and all-in-ones for the home and office, priced ≤450 USD. Printers selected by market share as reported by IDC Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker – Final Historical CYQ4 2021. Claim based on research of printer manufacturer’s print apps and Keypoint Intelligence hands-on testing and study commissioned by HP, July 2022. For details, see

[4] Requires the HP Smart app download. For details on local printing requirements see Certain features/software are available in English language only and differ between desktop and mobile applications. Subscription may be required; subscription may not be available in all countries. For details, see: Internet access required and must be purchased separately.

About HP
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) is a global technology leader and creator of solutions that enable people to bring their ideas to life and connect to the things that matter most. Operating in more than 170 countries, HP delivers a wide range of innovative and sustainable devices, services and subscriptions for personal computing, printing, 3D printing, hybrid work, gaming, and more. For more information, please visit:

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