Two-fifths of small and medium-sized business owners (42%) admit to having lost income due to IT issues, a new study reveals.
A quarter of owners typically deal with issues every week, with their regular IT supplier being unable to resolve the problem quickly in 24% of cases.
Nearly a third (30%) admit they had recently experienced technology blackouts wiping out at least one full working day.
Despite the high-cost that computer glitches can have on a company’s bottom line, the research reveals that more than half (54%) of SMEs do not have annual IT check-ups that could identify and prevent potential system issues.
And a fifth of owners (20%) are not aware if an annual audit service is even offered by their current IT supplier.
While SME owners struggle to balance the challenges of running a company, 38% said their suppliers do not proactively suggest new technical developments that could optimise operational performance.
A further 35% are not kept up to date with the latest IT-related regulations that could affect their business, from data and virus protection to cyber security.
Yet, with only 55% of the owners questioned aware that cybercrime cost UK businesses around £124 million last year according to KPMG’s Fraud Barometer, the potential risks of overlooking IT are on the increase, particularly for small businesses who are more likely to be targeted due to their lack of adequate security systems, according to IT support and technology services specialists A&O IT Group which conducted the survey.
Rod Moore, chairman of A&O IT, which has set up a specialist SME and small business IT support service, said: “Whilst we take it for granted that technological improvements are making our working lives simpler, it’s all too easy for IT to fall to the bottom of a company’s priority list.
“This survey demonstrates how, for many SMEs, outdated technology and lack of regular attention can negatively impact productivity as well as profit.
“As the world moves increasingly online, business success will become even more reliant on smooth-running IT services and air-tight cyber security.
“For small and medium-sized companies, finding the right supplier to outsource these functions to can be a great way to free up internal resources and reduce overheads.”