Singapore – July 8, 2013 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today released its 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index, which found that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with higher IT Confidence scores are more successful in leveraging IT to drive their business, and ultimately experience stronger, better business outcomes.
"Computing is a double-edged sword for SMBs. While it could improve productivity and enable SMBs to compete with larger competitors, it also requires sophisticated management and poses major risks, such as disaster preparedness and security. This might put some SMBs off from harnessing IT to achieve their business goals," said Tan Yuh Woei, country director for Singapore, Symantec. "The survey findings reveal that Singapore SMBs recognize this and are finding it extremely important to drive a computing strategy that will help them reach their full potential. In order for them to do so, they have to think like a founder of top-tier companies by investing in value, using IT strategically to address core business objectives, and keeping their IT house in order."
Symantec surveyed nearly 2,500 SMBs across the globe to determine their attitude toward IT, with 100 responses from Singapore. 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.
IT Confidence Starts at the Top
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 and 62 percent in Singapore. In addition, 83 percent of top-tier SMBs use IT as a strategic business enabler, compared to just 44 percent of bottom-tier SMBs and 75 percent in Singapore. 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.
Higher IT Confidence Tied to Better Business Outcomes
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. Sixty-seven percent of Singapore businesses shared this sentiment.
Additionally, these SMBs have made information security a business priority, with 78 percent stating they are somewhat to extremely secure versus 39 percent for the bottom tier and 52 percent in Singapore. They also see fewer cyberattacks and lower monetary losses (51 percent lower annual loss from cyberattacks versus 13 percent in bottom tier and 32 percent in Singapore), and in areas such as storage management, backup windows and disaster preparedness, the top tiers report much smaller impacts from IT complexity.
To Duplicate the Success of Highly Ranked SMBs, Think Like a Founder:
- Invest for value, not cost. When evaluating IT solutions for business, SMBs should consider long-term cost and value, and determine what technologies will help differentiate them from the competition while supporting future growth.
- Use IT strategically to address core business objectives. Top-ranking SMBs match the right IT initiative to their business goal. They are more aggressive at deploying advanced technologies such as mobile and cloud, and they focus on efficiency. For example, top-tier SMBs would consider using online collaboration tools and video conferencing to reduce landline and travel costs.
- Keep your IT house in order. Especially when it comes to protecting data – data loss can be a death sentence for an SMB. In terms of security, SMBs are now being specifically targeted by cybercriminals. Top-tier SMBs understand the importance of keeping security up-to-date, and 81 percent aggressively employ security measures. The same pattern holds true for backup and disaster preparedness.
Symantec's 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index
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.
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