Overcoming The Top 10 IT Challenges Facing Small Businesses in 2019 – Part 5

March 28, 2019

We recently published a list of the top 10 IT challenges facing small business in 2019.

We are now on the fifth and final of our posts looking at these challenges in a bit more detail and providing hints and tips on how small businesses can try and overcome these challenges themselves, whilst also showing where fully managed IT support can help.

Part 1 concentrates on overcoming waiting until something breaks, root causes not being uncovered and integration issues. Then Part 2 concerned itself with backup and disaster recovery issues, whilst part 3 looked at security issues. Part 4 was on the rapid rate of change, scaling IT as the business grows and the cost of technology.

The final part of our guide looks at the final couple of issues

  • Frustrated Users
  • Lack of Skilled Employees

It’s all about your people

These two issues can be broadly headlined as ‘people problems’ and may well be linked.

The main causes of staff frustration are computers running slowly and crashing frequently. If you’re maintaining your IT equipment well, and regularly refreshing your IT, then these problems should be minimal.

However, it may not be the equipment itself but the way the employee is using it that is causing the problems, and this brings us on to addressing a lack of skilled employees.

How big is the problem?

Pretty big if studies are to be believed! A December 2018 study by the Vodafone Institute surveyed 9,000 people across 9 countries and concluded that;

  • Globally, 85% of respondents said they need digital skills in their job, but 56% said their skills need expanding and only 29% said their skills are sufficient.
  • 78% of respondents in China and 70% in Bulgaria see a need to expand their digital skills. This is in contrast to 42% in the USA, 42% in the UK, 43% in Germany.
  • Only 32% of European respondents learned their digital skills at work or during their studies, with 67% saying they had to teach themselves.
  • 83% of Indian respondents and 76% in China get up to five or more hours of digital training each week. This is compared to less than 50% in Western Europe.
  • In China, 53% of respondents spend between one and five hours of their own time per week improving their skills, with 14% spending longer. In Germany, only 35% and 6%, respectively, would do the same.

This would indicate that over a quarter of your workforce feel that they need to improve their digital skills. It is unlikely these individuals are given the time at work to make those improvements.

You can download The Tech Divide report by Vodafone here.

What can Employers do?

The good news is that there is a lot of basic training available for IT users. What employees need most is access to these learning tools and the time to use them.

We are an IT company so we don’t specialise in HR or training and development. Every business needs to use its own appraisal and performance management systems and processes as they see fit. However, we would recommend that investigating employees confidence in IT is part of those processes.

There are a number of free resources that cover some of the basics. Course, videos and information from the BBC and Alison are very good for the basics. LinkedIn Learning gives more specialist learning, with a myriad of subjects including things such as CompTIA exam prep, integrating Sharepoint with PowerBI and Microsoft Dynamics training. There is a 1-month free trial available to LinkedIn learning.

Outsourcing

If you have specific issues, or you are looking to develop some new software or systems, then outsourcing can be a fantastic way of bringing in high level skills for a short pace of time.

From temporary IT Directors to Sharepoint experts, we have introduced our clients to numerous specialists who have helped them to overcome issues and up-skill internal staff.

How We Can Help

As we’ve mentioned IT training is not something we do. All we can do is point clients in the right direction and refer on to relevant outsourcing individuals or companies.

Whilst we are not IT trainers we are one of the leading providers of IT Services in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. We can reduce employee frustration by ensuring that the IT infrastructure you have works correctly and that you using the right systems and software for the jobs you need doing.

If you find yourself experiencing any of our Top 10 IT Challenges for Small Business then do not hesitate to give us a call on 0115 8220200 or Contact Us today. We’d be very happy to help.

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