The way you feel about technology has a strong effect on your business’s ultimate success, according to the latest Global SMB IT Confidence Index from Symantec. The study polled over 2,500 small and midsized businesses (SMBs) worldwide and found that the companies that are more successful are also those that leverage IT solutions to achieve their business goals.
The study divided businesses into tiers based on their confidence about IT, and measured the company founder’s perspective towards IT and how that affected the company’s approach. Three-fourths (74 percent) of top-tier companies say their founder’s previous experience affected their IT philosophies, compared to 61 percent of lower-tier businesses.
In addition, top-tier companies were more likely to use IT to enable strategic business goals, compared to just 44 percent of bottom-tier SMBs. Top tiers are also more likely to invest in a high quality IT infrastructure and use more advanced computing platforms, such as cloud and mobility. In other words, they’re embracing innovative technologies and going full steam ahead. Overall, the top-tier SMBs were not only more confident about their use of technology, but are also doing better than their bottom-tier counterparts by many measures.
So how can your business be more like a top-tier company and less like a bottom-tier? Symantec recommends three steps:
- Invest for value, not cost. When you’re comparing IT solutions for your business, consider long-term cost and value—not just short-term price. Also figure out what technologies will do the most to differentiate your from the competition and support future growth.
- Use IT strategically to reach core business goals. Top-tier SMBs match IT initiatives to specific business goals. They are more aggressive about using more advanced technologies, such as mobile and cloud computing, and they look for IT solutions that increase efficiency, such as using online collaboration tools and videoconferencing to reduce travel and phone expenses.
- Keep your IT house in order. As IT use becomes more sophisticated, it’s important to protect your small business against risk. Top-tier SMBs are careful to keep their IT security up-to-date, with 81 percent saying they use aggressive security measures and a similar percentage reporting they have backup systems and disaster preparedness plans in place.