Keeping budgets under control is the most pressing technology challenge facing small and medium-sized business (SMBs) today, according to research commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). In a survey of 724 businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, 37 percent said their biggest IT challenge is keeping their technology budget under control. IT budgets are the number one concern among organizations in specific vertical markets, including finance and insurance, government, retail, wholesale, and professional services.
The high cost of IT maintenance was cited as the top concern by 26 percent of all SMBs surveyed. Maintenance cost was the number one concern among healthcare companies. Using technology products and services to increase worker productivity ranks as the number three concern among all SMBs surveyed, at 23 percent.
Ranked number four among top IT challenges is keeping current systems going for another few years. This was cited as the top concern by 20 percent of SMBs overall; and 43 percent of manufacturing companies, making it their number one issue.
Another significant challenge, identified by 15 percent of SMBs, is finding IT vendors and solution providers who understand their business enough to provide technology solutions tailored to their particular needs.
"SMBs want someone who will do more than just sell them hardware, software and services," said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "They're going to work with the vendors and solution providers who put them in the best position to use technology to its utmost today and in the future. The IT companies that understand this are the ones who will have the most success is this growing market."
Research firm AMI-Partners estimates that IT spending by SMBs in the United States will reach $151.4 billion this year. SMBs in the United Kingdom are projected to spend $24.5 billion on IT this year, while SMBs in Canada are expected to spend $18.4 billion.
CompTIA commissioned AMI-Partners, which specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence focusing on global SMB enterprises, to study the current business climate and future plans for IT spending among business with 10 to 999 employees. SMBs in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada participated in the web-based survey, which was conducted in October. For more information on the study please visit:
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