Leading software company ConnectWise recently conducted a survey of over 2000 decision makers from businesses in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific region to discover the key IT challenges facing SMB’s (Small and midsize business).
The survey makes for interesting reading. It’s clear that SMB’s face many IT challenges, however the survey was able to pinpoint 7 particular areas where businesses need expert assistance.
It will come as no surprise that changes to working patterns feature, alongside security. But here is the full list.
Growing IT complexity
The world has changed a lot in the last few years. The pandemic sped up the movement toward more flexible working patterns. Many SMB’s moved to a remote working model almost overnight. As we start to see the long term effects and a more permanent move toward hybrid working, the requirements of IT systems are altering again. Many SMBs are now pursuing digital transformation. They must undertake complex integrations across legacy systems, the cloud, and multiple business processes. Understanding how everything comes together and future proofing the business requires expert help.
Proliferation of endpoints
According to a survey conducted by ConnectWise, SMBs expect 25-30% growth, on average, in the number of endpoints, or devices, installed over the next three years. The more devices a business has of course, the more there is to go wrong!
Lack of IT resources
Over 40% of SMBs have no internal IT staff. Most of these businesses have no more than one generalist on hand. Internal IT staff are expensive, and there is a shortage of qualified individuals across the industry. Outsourcing provides tremendous value for money in the IT space.
New work styles
The work-from-anywhere trend and the intermingling of home and office IT infrastructure require SMBs to focus more attention on security and provide remote support readiness. Many businesses are still running on solutions put in place in haste at the beginning of the pandemic. One of the biggest IT challenges faced by SMB’s is to move to permanent, secure solutions for the long term.
We were undecided as to whether to include this. But the main confusion is that this is an IT challenge, when it is in fact a business challenge. Cybersecurity involves technology, people and processes and it is understandable that many SMBs need help navigating cybersecurity technology options. Over 40% report having difficulty understanding cybersecurity and knowing what solutions to implement and how.
Worsening threat landscape
About 40% of UK businesses have experienced a damaging cyberattack in the past 12 months. This is according to the Governments Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021. This number is actually likely to be much higher. The lack of cybersecurity knowledge amongst SMB’s mean they are unaware of many attacks
And this is only getting worse. The people behind attacks and the attacks themselves grow ever more sophisticated and prevalent. Coupled with the issues that SMB’s have getting cybersecurity right this is a huge issue and probably the biggest of the IT challenges facing SMB’s.
Over 40% of SMBs said they don’t understand how to navigate compliance regulations related to IT, which change frequently. About 20-25% of SMBs surveyed said they’ve assigned compliance work to an external IT services provider to relieve business management of this responsibility. We expect many more to follow suit.
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