Leveraging IT Like Top-Tier SMBs

The leading SMB owners tend to view technology as a strategic asset and not as a necessary evil. Symantec recently conducted a global “SMB IT Confidence ” study of business owners with 10 to 250 employees.[1] The most successful SMB owners overwhelmingly recognize the value of technology for reaching business goals. In an interesting twist, these same top-level SMBs spend seven percent less on computing then their less successful counterparts.

Finally, and somewhat counter intuitively, This may be due to their commitment to investing in the right technology from the beginning, keeping future needs in mind. One small business owner put it this way: “If you are confident … you know what to buy, you always want to be able to grow and add to it so you don’t have to retool every time. People who don’t know tend to have to reboot and start from ground zero.”

These successful SMB business owners are leveraging IT to reach specific business goals. The top three areas of IT investment include

  • Security
  • Data Protection
  • Disaster Preparedness

So how do the world’s most successful SMB leaders think about leveraging IT in their company? According to Symantec, here are the key takeaways:

1. IT Spending – These leaders view IT spend as a long-term, strategic investment. Instead of looking for the lowest cost in the short term. They consider the long-term value of every IT investment.

2. IT Applications – Technology facilitates day-to-day work for most businesses. What sets these businesses is apart it the approach to technology that considers ways to address real, core business objectives. By mapping business goals alongside corresponding IT initiatives, these owners are building out long term growth solutions. Some of the emerging technologies that top the list include cloud computing, virtualization, mobility, and tools that help improve performance and process efficiencies.

3. Data Protection – Content is king both online and at every level of the business. Their aggressive vigilance in data security has paid off in light of recent reports that indicate a surge in cyberattacks on SMBs.

[1] Nicole Henderson. “SMB IT Needs to Think Like a Founder to Be Successful: Symantec Report.” Web Host Industry Review, July 8, 2013 <http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/smb-it-needs-to-think-like-a-founder-to-be-successful-symantec-report>