A recent global survey of small and medium business and Information Technology shows that the more comfortable a small or medium enterprise is in using IT, the better it is at achieving business goals.
A global survey conducted by Symantec mid-year reveals widely-varying opinions of small and medium entrepreneurs to IT. Some look at it as a strategy for achieving competitive advantage while others regard it as a necessary evil.
Symantec surveyed about 2,500 small and medium companies worldwide to determine their attitude towards IT and its place in their business. The responses were used to establish an IT Confidence Index, where each business was rated on its overall comfort level in using IT to achieve business goals.
The Index identified three tiers of businesses in terms of degree of comfort in using IT: the top tier, the center tier, and the bottom tier.
The top-tier businesses were compared with those at the bottom tier to surface significant differences between them.
It was found that 81 percent of top-tier companies increase their market share through strategic use of IT, compared to only 35 percent of lower-tier companies.
Top-tier companies are also more confident in their level of security, with more than 75 percent considering themselves somewhat or extremely secure. By contrast, only 39 percent of bottom-tier companies felt the same way. Those at the top suffer fewer cyberattacks and 52 percent lower annual losses than counterparts at the bottom.
The survey also determined where IT confidence comes from.
About three-fourths of top-tier SMBs reported their view on IT has been influenced by the founder’s previous business experience. Among bottom-tier SMBs, it was significantly less (61 percent). As a result, the top-tier businesses are far more likely to use IT as a strategic business enabler, by almost a 2 to 1 ratio of 83 percent to 44 percent. Due to their enlightened perspective, “tech confident SMBs” more frequently invest in high-quality elements in their computing infrastructure while also investing in advanced initiatives like mobility and the cloud. In the end, top tiers see these trends as being worth the risk far more often than the bottom-tier companies.
Symantec Philippines Senior Country Manager Luichi Robles has this advice to local SMEs: “If small businesses in the Philippines want to maximize their success, they need to embrace IT as a strategic tool with a potential to deliver a competitive advantage and really drive their business.”
“There are significant advantages in a forward-thinking attitude towards computing when it is embraced for strategic purposes rather than being treated as a necessity,” he added.
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