Symantec Corp. has released its 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index, which found that small and medium businesses (SMBs) with higher IT Confidence scores are more successful in leveraging IT to drive their business, and ultimately experience stronger, better business outcomes.
“The survey shows how the attitudes about IT of SMB founders have a positive correlation between protecting their information assets and achieving their business goals,” said Luichi Robles, senior country manager of Symantec Philippines. “If small businesses in the Philippines 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.”
He added: “It is also interesting to note from the survey that the typical top-tier SMB spends seven percent less on computing than bottom-tier organizations, which may be due to their commitment to invest in the right technology from the beginning and having the future growth of the company in mind. There are significant advantages in a forward thinking attitude towards computing when it is embraced for strategic purposes rather than being treated as simply a necessity.”
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.
SMBs who embrace IT as a strategic tool are twice as likely to say they are secure.
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 percent of companies with low-ranking index scores. In addition, 83 percent of top-tier SMBs use IT as a strategic business enabler, compared to just 44 percent 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.
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 percent of the bottom-tier SMBs. Additionally, these SMBs have made information security a business priority, with 78 percent stating they are somewhat/extremely secure versus 39 percent 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.
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 250 employees.