IT Confidence Can Boost Business

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Information Technology is necessary to keep your network and data secure, but can it actually help SMBs (small and midsized businesses) succeed? A survey conducted by Symantec involving 2,452 small businesses showed a correlation between implementing IT solutions and achieving business goals. (see survey results here:  Global SMB IT Confidence Index) Symantec’s SMB IT Confidence Index measured SMB’s confidence level using computing technologies to support their strategic business goals. Symantec grouped small businesses into top-tier, middle-tier and bottom-tier categories. Top-tier companies use technology to drive business and gain a competitive edge over their mid- and lower-tier peers.



According to Symantec, it pays to emulate larger companies. The report indicates that small businesses exhibiting higher IT confidence are more likely to achieve better a business outcome. Eighty-one percent of the largest SMBs (based on size) reported that using computing strategically to drive business forward was an effective way to increase market share. Only 35 percent of bottom-tier (smallest)  SMBs held that view.


Top-tier organizations are also better at keeping their data secure. Seventy-eight percent said that they are somewhat or extremely secure compared to just 39 percent for organizations in the bottom tier.



How do SMBs climb up the ranks? Symantec suggests you “think like a big company” with the following tips:


1. Invest for value, not cost


When evaluating IT solutions for business, small businesses should consider long-term cost and value, and determine what technologies will help differentiate them from the competition while supporting future growth.


2. Use IT strategically to address core business objectives


Top-ranking small businesses match the right IT initiative to their business goal. They are more aggressive at deploying advanced technologies such as mobile and cloud, and they focus on efficiency. For example, top-tier SMBs would consider using online collaboration tools and video conferencing to reduce landline and travel costs.


3. Keep your IT house in order


Data loss can be a death sentence for a small business. In terms of security, cybercriminals are more likely to target small businesses because they anticipate fewer IT security measure to overcome.. Top-tier small businesses understand the importance of keeping security up-to-date, and the majority (81 %) of those surveyed aggressively employ security measures. The same pattern holds true for backup and disaster preparedness.

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