Small and medium-sized businesses that are willing to embrace consumer technologies will steal a lead on their competitors, according to a new report.In the past, consumer-led technology has been seen by some businesses as an "unavoidable nuisance" but the new Gartner report suggests that treating new technologies as an "opportunity for additional innovation" could boost productivity."By embracing and leveraging employee experimentation and experience with consumer technologies, enterprises can enjoy a significant addition to the resources they can apply to evaluating innovation," said Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner fellow."The flood of consumer-led technologies into the enterprise is not going to subside," she added. "To fully realise the benefits, IT must embrace these technologies as an ongoing strategy rather than on a case-by-case basis."In the coming three years, successful SMEs are expected to embrace web platforms, community communication platforms, desktop videoconferencing and portable personalities.Five years down the line, the most forward-thinking SMEs will also be using virtual worlds, green IT and user-interface technologies.While all of these technologies have the potential to bring huge benefits to SMEs around the world, the report concedes that "it will still be some years before they have a mainstream impact on revenue or internal spending".© Adfero Ltd