Modernizing aging equipment and software also a top priority
Downers Grove, Ill., March 10, 2015 – Keeping data safe and finding new ways to use that data for analysis and decision-making are at the top of the technology to-do list for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), according to a new study released today by CompTIA, the IT industry association.
The national survey of 500 SMBs across the United States finds that 42 percent of companies identify IT security as an area they need to address.
“Small businesses are not immune to attacks simply because their data sets are smaller,” said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA. “Cyberattacks stem from a variety of motivations. Attacks of the smallest firms, where defenses are often weak, occur just as often as attacks on larger companies.”
Keeping data safe is just one aspect of data handling that is cause for concern among SMBs. A like percentage of small firms – 42 percent – say they’re looking for ways to more effectively manage and use the data they collect.
“As businesses undergo digital transformation data turns into a more critical asset,” Robinson noted. “Though many SMBs have never managed data as primary resource, there is growing interest in using data for analysis and decision-making.”
Another item causing major concern for SMBs is their technology infrastructure – 39 percent of firms said it needs modernization.
Without an abundance of capital to invest, many SMBs have historically sought the best value or the minimum investment required when purchasing technology. But that’s changing, due in part to the many cloud-based technology solutions available today and affordable for even the smallest business. In addition to lowering cost barriers, these technologies can significantly increase the abilities of an SMB and create capabilities on par with a larger enterprise.
Strategic Priorities for SMBs
Companies of all sizes now view technology more as a primary vehicle for achieving business objectives and less as a support mechanism for day-to-day operations. For SMBs, the strategic goals that can be met through technology reflect both the current realities they face and the future possibilities they envision.
After several years of cost cutting, many firms are now in expansion and innovation mode and reducing costs has become a lower priority. That’s not the case, however, for the majority of SMBs, many of whom still feel financial pressures. In the CompTIA survey, reducing costs and overhead is the top strategic priority for 58 percent of SMBs.
Other strategic priorities include reaching new customers, cited by 55 percent of SMBs surveyed; and improving operational efficiency (48 percent).
“It’s encouraging to see that SMBs recognize the dynamic dual role of technology, with operational efficiency on one side and innovative goals on the other,” Robinson said. “While new technology represents an investment, it is the most efficient way to meet strategic objectives.”
CompTIA’s Enabling SMBs with Technology study is based on an online survey of 500 SMB executives and professionals conducted in the United States in December 2014. The complete report is available at no cost with a simple registration at http://www.comptia.org/resources/enabling-smbs-with-technology.
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s IT industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. Visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.