SMBs have varying perception of how much ROI they see from their technology, with ongoing maintenance costs and fees viewed as a top detriment, according to a report CompTIA released today.
The trade association's IT Industry Outlook 2018 examined 674 IT industry execs from the U.S., Cananda and United Kingdom.
It reports that SMBs' tech spending is related to the firm's size, with one in three spending over £70,000 per year and two in three spending less than that. In addition, 40 per cent think their IT spend is too low, pointing to opportunity for solution providers.
Meanwhile, 47 per cent think their IT spend is just about right, and nine per cent think they spend too much on this area.
Still, the market is a key area for the channel in 2018, with Gartner pegging the space as representing 44 per cent of IT spend worldwide, CompTIA's report notes.
Yet in order to get SMBs to pay more attention to the channel, technology must be viewed as providing value.
"In the aggregate, six in 10 SMBs rate the ROI of the technology in use at their firm as good or excellent. IT executives tend to give higher ratings than owners and business executives, while medium-size SMBs gave higher ratings than micro SMBs," the report says.
TCO may play a key factor, CompTIA says, pointing to the top five reasons SMBs say their technology provides disappointing ROI: ongoing maintenance costs (41 per cent), required upgrades/built-in obsolescence (37 per cent), staff time needed to operate/maintain (37 per cent), upfront costs/too expensive for what you get (36 per cent) and complexity/poor user experience (32 per cent).
SMBs typically employ just one (for micro SMBs) to 15 (for medium SMBs) IT workers, CompTIA's numbers find. As such, it says 75 per cent leverage a solution provider "at least occasionally" every year, with 23 per cent being regular customers.
CompTIA's IT Industry Outlook 2018 reports that 61 per cent of SMBs are not using managed services, while 39 per cent are using them in some sort of capacity.
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