The State IT and Small Business
IT leaders in many small businesses are dissatisfied the state of technology at their companies. This was the conclusion of a recent study involving over 400 IT professionals and 197 small business respondents. The study was conducted in late 2015 and defined small business as those with less than 100 employees. The consensus was that current technologies in use are actually impeding the adoption of new technical solutions. Among the respondents, 47% would grade their technical infrastructure at only a C+.
What this means for SMBs
The low grade is surprising considering that IT solutions are more accessible and affordable than ever to small businesses. There are multiple options for updating infrastructures for businesses at every level of growth and budget. It seems that SMB is focused on other approaches to business growth, such as marketing or branding. Instead of acknowledging that better IT can facilitate these other goals, too many entrepreneurs see their technical infrastructure as little more than a support network to “actual” business. This narrow view may lead them to fall behind an ever-changing digital environment.
What small business can do to combat this
These small business respondents were planning a 27% increase in IT spending over their 2015 budgets, which is about 10% more relative to the spending plans of larger organizations. Of this projected increase, 40% would go to maintain existing systems, while spending on new solutions would increase 35%. Cloud services were among priorities for 72% of respondents. 47% would focus on software services and 40% on improved security.
It’s impossible for any business to ignore the advantages of IT. A reliable and flexible infrastructure is essential to productivity. More companies are recognizing that IT is not a financial burden, but a central element of strategic business plans.
Recognize business needs
Small businesses are learning to recognize the value of technologies that can empower them to run faster and smarter processes centered on business intelligence. Some of the most commonly mentioned IT improvements included:
- Data visualization and dashboard programs (40%)
- Virtual data environments (39%)
- Wearable technology devices (20%)
- 3D printing (13%)
Just as global enterprises must consider technology as an investment but as a strategy, so do small businesses. Investment implies an element of risk, whereas funding IT development drives scalability, improved processes, and the capacity for equal competition with more established firms. Optimizing technology is now a very basic methodology to even limited organizations. Affordable options such as cloud storage, project management, and business intelligence can give small companies the same advantages that large organizations leverage.
Many small businesses simply lack the resources or skills to deploy significant IT solutions. CTG Tech is a managed IT services provider that can operate on a flat monthly fee to provide a full range of IT solutions. Project consulting, security, backup and recovery, network monitoring, and reliable customer support are just some of the services we’ve been providing to SMBs since 1982. Contact CTG to find out how our expertise can fit with your budget.