by Akiva Goldstein | December 17th, 2019
Despite their smaller budgets, small and medium-sized businesses rely on technology just as much as larger enterprises. According to the new report from CompTIA, 64% of SMBs claim technology is a primary factor in achieving business goals.
“Whether it’s acquiring new customers, entering new marketing, launching new products, or streamlining operations and processes, technology is at the heart of these activities,” said Carolyn April, senior director for industry analysis at CompTIA. “Many small businesses are on the path toward digitizing their environments. They use cloud-based solutions and services, and increasingly dive into data analytics to meet customer demand.”
CompTIA, The Computing Technology Industry Association, is a non-profit trade association. They primarily serve as a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem.
TECHNOLOGY APPLICATION LAGS FOR SMBs
While technology is paramount for SMBs, it doesn’t seem to become easier to apply and manage over time. Unlike larger firms, small and medium-sized businesses have limited resources. Many can barely afford to hire IT professionals who are well-versed in evolving tech and emerging advanced tools. Most of them will admit that it makes digitization a complicated and challenging task for SMBs. Not surprisingly, the data in a 2016 CompTIA survey backs it up. Among SMBs, 23% of companies reported that they were excelling in technology vision and strategy. However, two years later, a similar survey showed that number dropped to 18%.
“It’s not that SMBs have gotten less tech-focused or capable, but the sheer number and types of solutions has grown in such size and complexity that many firms are taking two steps forward and one back as they navigate these new learning curves,” Carolyn April explained.
HOW CAN SMBs IMPLEMENT IT SOLUTIONS SMOOTHLY AND EFFECTIVELY?
For most SMBs, technology implementation is still an uphill battle. This is mainly due to lack of resources. Typically, those resources fall into three categories:
People – For many small and medium-sized organizations, maintaining a dedicated, full-time IT department is simply too expensive and inefficient. In other words, it doesn’t make sense! As a result, the company may not even have enough manpower to commit to figuring out new technology solutions. Furthermore, they won’t have the resources to integrate new ideas into existing systems and maintain those solutions. Finally, they are unable to train other employees, etc.
Time – Buying cycles can be quite lengthy, and while a company is making big decisions, they still have to work. In this way, many departments become inefficient. Furthermore, they suffer from a lack of productivity as technology purchasing decisions drag on for months at a time.
Money – Obviously, there’s equipment and software to buy. Then, there’s the training time, which takes employees away from core business functions. As technology evolves, the monetization of that technology has grown increasingly complex, requiring considerable investment and knowledge.
THAT’S WHERE AN OUTSIDE IT SERVICES PROVIDER COMES IN HANDY.
Whether seeking to deploy cloud solutions, integrate different applications or data sources, modernize aging equipment or software, the knowledge required to choose, apply and manage the right technology can be daunting.
In most cases, SMBs need an objective, well-informed opinion or simply the experience and expertise of IT professionals to help find and apply the right IT solution.
Using industry best practices and deep understanding of the latest trends, IT professionals complete tasks far more efficiently than their clients can do on their own. All this translates into real cost savings in terms of both time and money.
Find out more about the technology issues that affect small businesses by reading our Technology Blog!