As small businesses across the country mark National Small Business Week May 4-8, CompTIA, the IT industry association, offered some perspective on the evolving relationship between small business and technology.
“Technology solutions that deliver capabilities on par with the largest enterprise are available today at prices affordable for even the smallest of businesses,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA.
“No longer are small business constrained by bargain bin buying. Today, small businesses increasingly are relying on technology to grow, transform and meet strategic goals; and their embrace of new tech options is on the rise.”
“Finding and creating efficiencies with technology does not only mean big investments; it means looking for little tweaks to rid your team of hassles and smoothing out the corners in your operations,” noted Amy Kardel, chief administrative officer of Clever Ducks, a professional IT services company in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and a member of the CompTIA Board of Directors.
“Even something like a Bluetooth headset really improves the ergonomics for an employee. Untethered from the desk the person can walk around and talk at the same time,” Kardel continued. “By continually making little investments to improve productivity and the user experience, it creates a culture of continuous improvement.”
10 Tidbits on Small Business and Tech
- Small businesses account for nearly 98 percent of the U.S. IT industry.
- Small businesses view technology as a primary vehicle for achieving objectives rather than f simply a support mechanism for day-to-day operations. Nearly six in 10 see technology as a means to reducing costs; and 55 percent intend to use technology to reach new customers.
- Less than one in five small businesses say they’re exactly where they want to be with technology.
- IT security, data management and modernizing aging equipment and software are the top three areas that small businesses say they need help with.
- Two-thirds of small companies plan to increase their technology budget over the next 12 months, with 30 percent projecting an increase of 10 percent or more.
- Nearly half (47 percent) say they’d be willing to increase their technology spend if presented with an innovative solutions that could enable new business processes.
- Two-thirds of firms say they’re likely to seek outside help and expertise as they consider new strategic uses of technology.
- The biggest driver for using an outside firm is the need for greater technical expertise and new options.
- Equally telling, a lack of innovative technology solutions is a significant reason why some small businesses switch IT firms.
- Over 70 percent of small firms used an outside IT company at least occasionally over the past 12 months.
Sources: CompTIA research reports IT Industry Outlook 2015 (January 2015) and Enabling SMBs with Technology (March 2015). These reports are available no cost with a simple registration. Visit http://www.comptia.org/insight-tools.