By Maria Valdez Haubrich
Are you feeling confused by all the technology options that are available to help grow your small business? You’re not alone. In a recent survey by Techaisle, more than half (54 percent) of small and midsized businesses admitted that their technology “pain points” have increased in the last three years. In fact, some 39 percent of small and midsized business owners say their technology pain points are now worse than their business pain points.
With so many different technology options now available, small businesses are spending more time than ever trying to determine what technology can do for them and whether certain technologies will really work for their businesses. Even when they determine technology can be useful, they’re still overwhelmed by deciding what vendor to buy it from. Some 44 percent of small and midsized businesses said the growing number of vendors is making it difficult to make IT decisions.
What do small and midsized business owners want from technology? Simple: They want solutions that are easy to understand and to implement. To figure out what that might be, they’re doing their own research online, but they’re also getting advice from IT consultants, resellers, channel partners and IT vendors.
More than ever, small business owners polled say they are strongly committed to using IT to cut their operating costs and help their companies grow. But despite this desire, some 61 percent of small and midsized businesses admit that the deluge of information overload has led them to ignore certain technologies, even if those technologies might actually be useful for their businesses.
What’s most likely to be ignored? Cloud computing, virtualization, business intelligence, remote managed services and marketing automation are the five technologies that small businesses say they’re having the most trouble getting their heads around. What are their biggest challenges? Budget constraints, cloud computing and mobile device management top the list.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you need to make some decisions. Perhaps it’s time to enlist an outside IT consultant, even if you never have before, to determine what solutions your business really needs. A good consultant with expertise in small business (and your industry) can show you what technologies are worth your investment, what to buy and how to integrate it with your existing technology.
Today more than ever, small business stands to gain from fast-developing technologies. You can’t afford to remain in the dark—so take action to get in on the game before it’s too late.
Image by Flickr user Guudmorning! (Creative Commons)Google+