Computer-processing speed and reliability top IT managers' lists for the most needed computer improvements.
Budget constraints continue
to weigh heavily on IT decision making at small and midsize companies, a new
study shows. A Hewlett-Packard survey of
more than 500 IT managers at U.S. SMBs shows that 93 percent of companies have
placed cost concerns over the best IT solutions, leading 89 percent of those
companies to experience IT-related problems.
The HP SMB IT Survey,
conducted by Wakefield Research, uncovered that the top three IT problems
reported by cost-conscious companies are low-performing hardware (46 percent),
out-of-date hardware (37 percent) and unreliable hardware (23 percent), leading
to suboptimal computing efficiency and an overall loss of productivity.
The survey also revealed
that 54 percent of small businesses cite summer as the peak season for working
remotely. With 58 percent of IT managers stating that they have not invested in
network security this year, the report suggested companies will find they are
adding pressure and potentially greater security risks to their already
stressed IT networks.
The study also showed that computer-processing
speed (35 percent) and reliability (19 percent) top IT managers' lists for
the most needed computer improvements. These practical considerations weigh more
heavily on managers' minds than energy efficiency (9 percent).
When given the chance to tell
their CEOs how to solve common concerns, IT managers recommend upgrading to
newer and better quality components (29 percent), investing more money into IT
systems (21 percent), and spending more time planning and researching the best
solutions for their company's needs (13 percent).
Forty-one percent of IT
managers think that planning their company's IT strategy is the best use of
their time, compared with 11 percent of managers who believe their time is best
spent on hardware support. Additionally, one-fifth of IT managers complained
that their biggest computer problem is a lack of vendor assistance when
"The survey findings confirm
that budget-constrained small businesses are playing tug of war when it comes
to balancing smart IT purchasing decisions and their budgets," says Stephen
DiFranco, senior vice president and general manager, of HP's personal systems
group, Americas. "HP has a portfolio of reliable, high-performing and secure
Elite Series PCs that are business-tough and tested to the extremes to ensure
small businesses get a great return on investment and thrive in the market."
The HP SMB IT Survey was
conducted between May 31 and June 6, 2011, using an email invitation and an
online survey. The company noted the results of any sample are subject to
sampling variation and the magnitude of the variation is measurable and is
affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages
expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study,
the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by
more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if
interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by