Hardware Issues Continue to Plague SMB Customers
The top three IT problems plaguing SMBs are all related to hardware, according to a recent survey from Wakefield Research that was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. The problems involve low-performing hardware (46%), out-of-date hardware (37%) and unreliable hardware (23%), leading to suboptimal computing efficiency and an overall loss of productivity.
While many SMBs reporte various problems with hardware performance, there are other things IT managers would rather dedicate their valuable time and effort toward. Most significantly, 41% of IT managers think that planning their company’s IT strategy is the best use of their time, compared to only 11% of managers who believe their time is best spent on hardware support. Computer processing speed (35%) and reliability (19%) top IT managers’ lists for most needed computer improvements.
For VARs and MSPs, it may be time to take inventor of your SMB customers’ hardware infrastructure — searching for basic hardware upgrade opportunities that can also trigger managed services engagements. The “cloud” can also solve SMB concerns with network security, especially where remote workers are concerned. The survey reveals that 58% of SMB IT managers have not invested in network security this year, and that 54% say summer is the peak time for workers to perform their tasks remotely with mobile devices.
The last major data point from the survey is one MSPs are no doubt familiar with, but still worth repeating. One-fifth of IT managers complained that their biggest computer problem is a lack of vendor assistance when problems occur. Perhaps that’s why so many VARs and MSPs have been focused on basic service desk and help desk strategies in 2011.