More Than a Bandaid: Examining the Critical Value of Excellent IT Solutions
Simply put, there’s probably nothing as useless and wholly irritating as a computer or network system that doesn’t function reliably.When computers and networks go down, productivity suffers, customer satisfaction dips, overhead costs increase, and lost revenue is inevitable.While establishing and running a business often involves many challenging budgetary decisions, one of the most critical allocations in a small business budget is computer support. Here’s why it matters.
Insufficient IT Solutions for Business
In an attempt to save money, many small businesses forego information technology support. Although two-thirdsof small business owners report that it would be a major challenge to survive without wireless technology, for instance, a shockingly large number (27 percent) of small businesses have no IT support whatsoever. Instead, someone on the staff with a measure of familiarity with IT becomes the company’s ‘computer guru’ or someone’s friend who ‘really likes computers’ is summoned to provide advice and assistance when systems crash. Sadly, situations like these often lead to total loss of data, software reinstallation, long periods of downtime, frustration, and spiraling costs.
There’s no doubt that even small to mid-sized businesses need professional, knowledgeable technical support. They need information technology solutions that fulfill their industry’s requirements. Hiring an expert in the first place is likely to be far more cost-efficient and profitable in the long run. Limited budgets and inexperience often prevent small businesses from making the most beneficial IT decisions, so it’s easy to lose opportunities that companies with better support benefit from.
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Technology allows small businesses to compete with large ones. It has lowered the cost of entry and improved profit margins. Still, it remains challenging to access these benefits without the appropriate IT support. Innovation—made possible through proper IT support—places companies on the offensive rather than the defensive. Any company that subscribes to a culture of innovation is on the path to growth; a company that doesn’t will end up obsolete.
Take a look at Proctor & Gamble, who has a reputation for innovation. Before the company’s focus on innovation, it maintained the industry standard of introducing new brands and products with a commercial success rate of 15 to 20 percent. By shifting its focus, however, it boasts a success rate of 50 to 60 percent; about half of all its new products succeed. Moreover, it has maintained a 6 percent organic sales growth, mostly propelled by innovation. In short, it’s getting more value for every dollar spent on innovation.
If You’re Not Ahead, You’re Behind
Today, technology permeates the work force. Corporate IT spending—a significant measure of the technology economy—is approximately $6 trillion per year, and includes hardware, software, networks, employees, data centers, and outsourced IT services. This amount reflects what it would entail to provide a $500 smartphone and $350 tablet to each of the approximate 7.1 billion people on Earth.
The aggregate of money that businesses spent on tech grew by a factor of nearly 20 from 1980 through 2015. By comparison, the global GDP barely tripled.
For the 27 percent of companies that don’t have sufficient tech support, being able to adopt and maintain such technology is a pipe dream. It means those companies are spinning their wheels while other corporations—specifically the ones that can keep up with technological trends—are careening ahead.
After all, business leaders are adopting technology at an astounding rate. Almost four billion people use the Internet daily, which accounts for half of the world’s population. In 2013, 66 percent of small business owners were using mobile technology or solutions as part of their daily functioning. That number continues to skyrocket every year.
So let’s be clear: not having the right tech and tech supports places a company far behind others. That isn’t the place business owners can afford to be.