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"Let me Google that for you.” There aren’t many other phrases that so clearly show how we rely on technology to solve problems or make what we already have better. Of course, what we do as users at home does not always translate to what we do in business.

It’s no secret that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) already drive a massive portion of the technology market. According to IDC, it’s about $152 billion annually. Still, there are barriers that keep SMBs from being more upbeat about leveraging new technology that could help them achieve their goals faster and more effectively.

SMB ROI ratings of their tech investments

Among SMBs there is a foundation of desire and intent to embrace technology more aggressively. However, SMBs face two distinct challenges:

Challenge 1: Mapping business strategy to technology solutions.

SMBs do not always have the ability and capacity to draw the entire path from the definition of a business goal to earning the results of success. While many have identified the key areas they need and want to invest in, they don’t have all the pieces in place that help them get from A to B.

Challenge 2: Calculating the return on investment (ROI) of technology solutions.

CompTIA’s most recent SMB research reveals 40 percent of SMBs considered the ROI they achieved with the help of technology as “just OK” or “poor,” which contributes to a more defensive mindset of using new technology in business solutions.  

ROI and its implications are emerging as a significant opportunity for technology vendors and solution providers to communicate the benefits of their products. This applies to ROI as being necessary to evaluate the potential benefits of technology solutions, as well as setting expectations for success.

To bridge the gap, the decisions of SMBs can be supported by a wide range of tools, from very basic ROI calculators to sophisticated approaches that take into account staff time and opportunity costs.

SMBs should combine these tools with an ability to address their specific ROI, foremost maintenance costs, upgrade requirements and upfront costs and they’ll end up with a strong communication layer between the seller and the buyer. Throw in the benefit of explaining how technology can help achieve specific business goals and you can remove two obvious obstacles that keeps SMBs from embracing technology even more than they are today.  

Want to know more? Download CompTIA’s SMB research report.