Tech company CDW recently conducted a survey regarding business growth and the role that information technology (IT) plays in small businesses.
The survey, which resulted in CDW’s "Small Business Driver’s Seat Report", identified growth and technology issues that small business owners consider among the most important.
A Lack of IT Staff
A couple of interesting stats coming from the survey are that only 15% say that their company employs at least one dedicated IT professional. 34% of responding small business senior executives say that they are responsible for IT decision-making and support issues themselves.
"Small business owners have always needed many skills at the outset but then they learn to organize and delegate as their businesses mature – which has never been an easy transition," said Maria Sullivan, CDW vice president for small business sales.
"The Small Business Driver’s Seat study found that the added challenge of leveraging IT apparently creates a management inflection point at about 50 to 100 employees. When a company reaches this size, IT mastery becomes an essential driver of business growth," added Sullivan.
When a company grows toward the 100-employee mark, it tends to view IT more as a strategic investment when compared to those with fewer employees.
IT Can Still Be Managed
Even without a dedicated IT professional on staff, someone’s got to take care of it.
"Small business owners and key personnel do not all need to be IT professionals – they only need to be astute in how they manage IT," says Sullivan. "There are associations, publications, analysts, and vendors that can be valuable resources as a company grows, and the study shows that high-growth businesses tend to hire their own IT professionals early."
The full 2008 CDW Small Business Driver’s Seat Report can be found here.