Small Businesses Are IT-Savvy, Study Finds
Small businesses are showing increasing sophistication when it comes to IT.
By Cecilia Galvinalvin
Small businesses are showing increasing sophistication when it comes to IT, although they still struggle to compete with their larger counterparts and are unsure of how to get access to higher-quality IT services to help them, according to a recent global survey of small businesses commissioned by Microsoft. Moreover, these businesses are eyeing hosted offerings as a cost-efficient way to obtain the services they need.
"Despite their varying businesses and greatly differing needs, many small businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on information technology and the Internet for networking, communications, and sales," says John Zanni, general manager, Software Services Industry team, Microsoft. "As they become more Web-savvy...small businesses are starting to seriously consider hosted services to meet some of their IT needs."
79% of small businesses say larger businesses gain significant advantage from having access to better IT resources
65% say either "yes" or "maybe" when asked if they would consider using a hosting service
63% believe larger enterprises with more IT resources gain a competitive advantage
56% would prefer to have more protection from viruses and spam
47% say their business would be better if they had more IT resources
44% believe they would benefit from mobile email and shared calendar functionalities
37% still use Web mail (Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) rather than business email services such as Microsoft Hosted Exchange
SOURCE: 1,300 SMALL BUSINESSES IN AUSTRALIA, CANADA, CHINA, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, JAPAN, RUSSIA, SWEDEN, THE U.K., AND U.S., CONDUCTED BY VANSON BOURNE LTD., MAY-JULY 2008 FOR MICROSOFT