What Is The Importance  Of IT?

 

IT Guy

Sometimes we hear a particular phrase- what is the importance of IT? Many small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) often fall short when it comes to implementing and maintaining an effective Information Technology (IT) solution that supports their day-to-day operations. More-often-than-not, lacking a clearly defined approach to IT can severely affect your business’s ability to scale to meet the demands of our ever-changing economy. That is not to say that all businesses require “cloud-based” systems to function; but instead, IT should enhance all facets of your operations.

So Why IT?

 

Information technology today serves multiple purposes and allows businesses to effectively meet their market’s demands, as well as gain a competitive edge. According to a 2019 Southern University article titled Information Technology Strategies for Small Businesses, the survival of a business in an increasingly competitive global environment, largely depends on its ability to leverage information as a resource (1). Inevitably, in a world where technology has become an inseparable component of our daily lives, leveraging information without an IT strategy will become increasingly more difficult in time.

A late 2020 article on Entrepreneur.com stated, 24% of generation Z—A generational cohort practically born with a tablet in their hands—already own a business, and this number is expected to increase as generation Z enters the workforce in the next few years. Does this mean that businesses owned by “tech-savvy” individuals are guaranteed to thrive based on their technological upbringing? Not exactly

Covid-19’s Impact

 

Though a strong technological foundation is impressive- the increase in digital competition, and rapid digital shift many industries faced during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the evidence would suggest that a strong technological background is no longer enough.

In March 2020, a Salesforce report titled Small-Medium Business Trends asked over 2300 small-medium businesses worldwide to indicate the “three most constraining factors” currently influencing their SMB Operations. The answers were as followed:

 

  • Money/access to capital → 31% of responders;
  • Meeting customer expectation → 28% of responders;
  • Hiring the right talents → 30% of responders;
  • Finding the right technology to meet needs → 18% of responders;
  • Implementation of technology → 20% of responders

 

Interestingly, however, when the same question was asked again in August of 2020 (a few months into the COVID-19 Pandemic), the answers varied accordingly:

 

  • Money/access to capital → 1% increase (32% of responders)
  • Meeting customer expectation→ 3% increase (31% of responders)
  • Hiring the right talents → 2% decrease (28% of responders)
  • Finding the right technology to meet needs → 5% increase (23% of responders)
  • Implementation of technology → 1% increase (21% of responders)

%

A late 2020 article on Entrepreneur.com stated, 24% of generation Z—A generational cohort practically born with a tablet in their hands—already own a business

 March 2020 – Constraining Factors Influencing SMB Operations

  • Money/Access To Capital 31% 31%
  • Meeting Customer Expectation 28% 28%
  • Hiring The Right Talents 30% 30%
  • Finding The Right Technology To Meet Needs 18% 18%
  • Implementation Of Technology 20% 20%

August 2020 – Constraining Factors Influencing SMB Operations

  • Money/Access To Capital 32% 32%
  • Meeting Customer Expectation 31% 31%
  • Hiring The Right Talents 28% 28%
  • Finding The Right Technology To Meet Needs 23% 23%
  • Implementation Of Technology 21% 21%

As can be inferred from the data above, the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to find the right technology to meet business needs (2). Further-more, the report also indicates that more than half of SMBs surveyed found that the use of technology significantly improved their customer interactions, as well as the growth of their customer base. They further stated that the incorporation of technology has allowed them to scale more so than their stagnant/declining competition (3).

In Conclusion

Ultimately, all this goes to show how vital the implementation of information technology is in every SMB today. Also just as importantly, the positive impact a proper IT strategy can have on a business’s success. Are you utilizing the proper IT Solutions for your business? Maverick Gardner has many options for a variety of different types of businesses and we would be happy to help you implement and grow your IT so your business can stay ahead!

 

Sources: Ramaswamy, M. (2019). Information technology strategies for small businesses. Issues in Information Systems, 20(2), 216-225. (1)

5% increase in “finding the right technology to meet needs” constraint, as well as the 3% increase in “meeting customer expectations” (2)

https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_ie/www/PDF/small-business-trends-report-4th-edition.pdf (3)

 

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