Business executives and leaders are starting to take more notice of the increasingly critical role IT plays in small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). In a recent study, research reveals the challenges that SMBs consistently face. Smaller businesses have budget constraints that make it tough to keep up with complex trends such as cloud computing, cybersecurity threats and intelligent machines. Let’s take a peek under the hood at what other SMBs say are their top priorities.
IT’s Critical Role
This study interviewed 250 leaders in companies whose revenue ranged from $5-$50 million. Researchers concluded that these companies know the importance of IT but can’t afford the expense of adopting disruptive technologies that could revolutionize the way they do business.
Today, IT is a critical operational component that helps SMBs become more efficient. Approximately, 93% of the leaders surveyed confirmed that IT plays a strategic role in their day-to-day operations. Budget constraints prevent many of them from upgrading their systems or investing in IT assets that could improve workflow, product tracking and customer relationship management.
What happes when IT is poorly funded?
Unfortunately, it’s not just operations and customer relationship management that suffers when IT departments lack funds. About 66% of SMBs say they aren’t able to keep up with technological advances in their industries due to the cost associated with implementing big changes. Some highlights from this research study that underscore the challenges facing SMB IT departments:
- About 60% say losing half their revenue growth would be less impactful than losing half their data.
- At least 67% have experienced system downtime in the past year. Causes include overloaded systems, lack of experienced personnel and aging infrastructure.
- Almost 3 in 5 leaders said they suffered security breaches in the last year.
What about cybersecurity threats?
Cybersecurity is a major threat for these organizations. However, over half of those surveyed worry about threats associated with cloud-based technology. These fears may be well-founded. The same group of 250 companies experienced disruptions that include:
- System downtime (66%)
- Slowdowns (64%)
- Data breaches (28%)
With cybersecurity falling in the top three concerns, SMBs would do well to allocate more of their IT budget to security efforts. Managing complex systems is tough enough. Small to midsize companies might benefit from partnering with a local Managed Service Provider (MSP) to broaden their coverage with experienced IT professionals.
No business is too small or too old to start implementing managed and professional services. Whether your venture is new and you want to start off on the right foot, or you believe your business needs a boost in productivity, our team at ECMSI is here to help!