Read blog post: Symantec SMB IT Confidence Index Shows Value of IT as a Strategic Business Enabler
"Symantec's survey of SMBs around the world reveals how founders' attitudes about IT can have a significant impact on their business. There appears to be a positive correlation between protecting their information assets and achieving their business goals," said Brian Burch, vice president of Global Consumer and Small Business Marketing. "If small businesses want to maximize their success, they need to embrace IT as a strategic tool with the potential to deliver a competitive advantage and really drive their business."
Symantec surveyed nearly 2,500 SMBs across the globe to determine their attitude toward IT. Their responses were utilized to develop an "SMB IT Confidence Index," a measure of how confident they are in using IT to address strategic business goals. Three tiers of companies emerged, with the contrast between the top tier and bottom tier forming the basis of the survey's key takeaways.
Click to Tweet: SMBs who embrace IT as a strategic tool are twice as likely to say they are secure: http://bit.ly/13LRuVy
IT Confidence Starts at the Top
One of the biggest drivers of high IT Confidence scores was the founder's perspective and how that impacts IT. Seventy-four percent of top tiers said their founder's previous business experience has a somewhat to extreme influence on their IT philosophies, compared to 61% of companies with low-ranking index scores. In addition, 83% of top-tier SMBs use IT as a strategic business enabler, compared to just 44% of bottom-tier SMBs. Top tiers are also more likely to invest in a high quality IT infrastructure and deploy advanced computing platforms, such as cloud and mobility, seeing innovative technologies as being worth the potential risk.
"We work hard to make investment choices that provide the highest value over time, scaling efficiently as our business grows," said Larry Green, president of LAGLAW. "We also try to stay a step ahead in our technology adoption. We implemented cloud computing and mobility early on and they have enabled us to be more efficient and productive."
Higher IT Confidence Tied to Better Business Outcomes
SMBs with the highest IT Confidence Indices are doing better than their bottom-tier counterparts in a variety of ways. Eighty-one percent of top-tier SMBs said "using computing strategically to drive our business forward" was a somewhat to extremely effective way to increase market share, compared to just 35% of the bottom-tier SMBs. Additionally, these SMBs have made information security a business priority, with 78% stating they are somewhat/extremely secure versus 39% for the bottom tier. They also see fewer cyberattacks and lower monetary losses (51 percent lower annual loss from cyberattacks), and in areas such as storage management, backup windows and disaster preparedness, the top tiers report much smaller impacts from IT complexity.
To Duplicate the Success of Highly Ranked SMBs, Think Like a Founder:
Invest for value, not cost. When evaluating IT solutions for business, SMBs should consider long-term cost and value, and determine what technologies will help differentiate them from the competition while supporting future growth.
Use IT strategically to address core business objectives. Top-ranking SMBs 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.
Keep your IT house in order. Especially when it comes to protecting data – data loss can be a death sentence for an SMB. In terms of security, SMBs are now being specifically targeted by cybercriminals. Top-tier SMBs understand the importance of keeping security up-to-date, and 81% aggressively employ security measures. The same pattern holds true for backup and disaster preparedness.
Symantec's 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index
Symantec's 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index is a result of research conducted by ReRez in February-March 2013. The full study represents 2,452 organizations from 20 countries. Responses came from companies with a range of 10 to more 250 employees.
SMB IT Confidence Index Report
SMB IT Confidence Index Presentation
SMB IT Confidence Index Infographic
Information Unleashed Blog
Connect with Symantec
Follow Symantec on Twitter
Join Symantec on Facebook
View Symantec's SlideShare Channel
Subscribe to Symantec News RSS Feed
Visit Symantec Connect Business Community
Symantec protects the world's information, and is a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Our innovative products and services protect people and information in any environment – from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems. Our world-renowned expertise in protecting data, identities and interactions gives our customers confidence in a connected world. More information is available at www.symantec.com or by connecting with Symantec at go.symantec.com/socialmedia.