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In the Loop: Small businesses struggling with IT

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

The increasing complexity of IT systems has been outed as the biggest challenge for Australian small businesses in 2017.

Welcome to In the Loop, our monthly snapshot of Telstra’s research into the state of small business in Australia.

Almost one third of small businesses in Australia are struggling to manage the complex nature of modern IT environments and digital systems.

As part of the latest Telstra Loop survey, 31 per cent of respondents nominated growing digital intricacies as the number one technology-related concern in 2017. Managing the glut of services, devices, products and providers was also highlighted as a key issue for small business. 

Image shows man slumped over desk looking at paperwork and a laptop computer
Small businesses are struggling with complex IT systems.

External research supports these findings with a TechAisle study showing more than 60 percent of SMEs would ignore potentially useful technologies because of IT complexity while another recent survey found that of the businesses that felt technology had a poor ROI, more than 30 per cent blamed complexity. 

The data is hardly surprising. For any given business problem, a huge range of products and services will lay claim to having the solution, and just choosing the right tool can cause unwelcome stress. Solving multiple problems? Well, now you’re looking at additional technology. The equation can be overwhelming.

So how can small businesses simplify their IT initiatives? The first step is to acknowledge (or define) foreseeable business objectives. This will help identify the most useful technologies and dismiss those that won’t help achieve your business goals.

The ultimate aim is to streamline workflow so conduct an audit of the current efficiency (or otherwise) of business processes. The right technologies can put an end to fragmentation between staff members and departments, but only if users are engaged and on board. Investigate where a single provider might be able to deliver multiple devices, services and technologies. Bundling such services will help reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Since workplace technologies are constantly evolving, establishing systems flexible enough to support business growth is integral to creating a manageable IT environment that works hard for you. 

This survey is based on the Telstra Loop community of small and medium businesses across Australia. This community is open to small businesses customers of Telstra, enabling them to provide feedback to Telstra and improve products and services. 

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