How many of these challenges resonate with your business?
At the end of last year, the National Small Business Association published their 2013 Small Business Technology Survey. In it, they asked business owners about the biggest challenges their companies face with their use of technology.
This is what they found:
- Costs of needed upgrades: 44%
- Security issues: 42%
- Time it takes to fix problems: 37%
- Cost of maintaining technology: 36%
- Breaks in service: 30%
- Lack of expertise: 26%
- Response time from external support company: 18%
Is managing your IT getting easier or harder?
In their report, the NSBA also noted that because of the growing availability and affordability of technology tools, most business owners were seeing their technology challenges decline: "Nearly every major broad technology challenge decreased between 2010 and 2013.” This is a trend we've noted among our clients as well, as better protection and management tools reduce unexpected problems and incidents of down-time.
Can you say the same about your business’ computer systems? Are you finding them easier to manage? Are you reducing the amount of money and time invested? If not, you should ask yourself – or better yet, ask us – why.
Note, for instance, that the biggest decline between 2010 and 2013 was in the cost of maintaining technology. Only 36% of business owners identified that as a major challenge in 2013, compared to 49% in 2010. The 2nd biggest decline was in security issues, followed closely by cost of needed upgrades.
The cost of time - your time, downtime, and our time
There was one notable exception to the declining trend in technology challenges: Time. Both the time it takes to fix problems, and the response time from external support companies, saw increases of approximately 5% compared to 2010. The NSBA said this was a result of the fact that more and more owners are handling IT themselves: 40% in 2013, up from 25% in 2010.
This increase in DIY systems management had a number of negative consequences. When it came to handling online security, for instance, barely one fifth of business pay a qualified company to handle it. Nearly ¾ of business owners manage it in-house, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority (94%) are concerned about it, and nearly half of all small business had been the victim of cyber-attacks.
Where do you fit it in?
We’d love to hear about your experience, and what your most important needs are.
- Are you managing your computer systems yourself?
- Do you have a member of your staff do it? Are they qualified?
- Do you find your computer systems create more frustration than efficiency?