More than 90 per cent of UK Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are reaping the benefits from their IT investments, according to research conducted by Accelerator, in association with Cisco. Accelerator’s latest Business Confidence Survey found IT investments had demonstrated clear, tangible returns to the business of 45 per cent of SMBs, while a further 48 per cent highlighted that they had already seen benefits to their organisation and were expecting more to follow.
Not only has IT had a positive business impact on SMBs, but the survey suggests the workforce is feeling the benefits too, leading to advanced efficiency. Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of respondents revealed that IT has brought their staff together into an effective network, with 39 per cent saying IT is an enabler for staff to get their jobs done.
In addition, 41 per cent agreed customer service technology not only improves responsiveness, but also puts their business on a level playing field with larger firms. A further 22 per cent of companies are looking to invest in such technologies over the next 12 months in order to reap such benefits.
However, while UK SMBs are enjoying IT benefits, there is still work to be done in the area of security. While 42 per cent of those surveyed regularly review and update security to ensure all data is protected, more than half (53 per cent) confessed that although they have the basics in place, security is an area in which they could improve.
“The results of this survey clearly show that advanced technologies are no longer restricted to global enterprises,” says Bernadette Wightman, Director – SMB, Cisco UK & Ireland. “For too long, small businesses have not been able to realise the full benefits that technology can provide, as all too often they have had enterprise-scale solutions imposed on them. With SMBs now able to deploy tailor-made technology for their businesses, they are reaping the benefits of efficiency and improved customer service, while being able to compete with larger organisations.”
The survey polled more than 500 members of the UK’s small business community, 87 per cent of which run businesses with fewer than 50 people. Small businesses account for around 99 per cent of the workforce in the UK.