A new piece of data from a study commissioned by Logically offers a great insight into the importance, value, and future of data. According to the report, 60% of business decision-makers (BDMs) would rather lose half of next year’s revenue growth than lose half their data.
At first glance, this sounds a bit much. But if you dig a bit deeper and explore the answer thoroughly, half of the lost data could end up costing the company much more. To put it differently, losing half the data can result in not generating any revenue at all the following year.
More decision-makers are coming to the realization of the strategic and operational importance of IT to their organization. However, the data in the study says 66% of BDMs say the investment in IT from their companies’ is not keeping up with the need of their technological growth.
The problem is even more acute for small and midsize companies. Jeff Loeb, CMO of Logically, addressed this very issue in the press release for the report. Loeb says these organizations are struggling to keep up with today’s business-critical information technology.
Loeb goes on to say, “Companies are searching for cost-effective ways to find qualified IT talent to handle the complexities of cloud migrations, explosive data growth, regulatory compliance and data security.”
Small Business IT Trends
The days of discounting IT as a regular part of a business operation are long gone. There is a clear consensus it is a business-critical component of the operation of SMBs.
Almost all or 93% of BDMs for these organizations say this is the case for them. Another 51% say the role of IT in their company is operationally critical, while 41% state it is strategic. The report states only 7% consider IT to be. “… merely supportive of their operation.”
With so many of these BDMs agreeing on the importance of IT, it is somewhat surprising only 60% would give up half their revenue for their data. But no matter what the percentage is, the report says these decision-makers implicitly understand future revenue is likely dependent on current success in data protection.
Again, the increased awareness is not leading SMBs to devote more time planning on how to move forward with their IT growth and management. Thirty percent of BDMs say they spend only 10% of their strategic planning discussing this very topic. This is despite the fact the threat environment in the digital ecosystem is getting much worse.
The Threat Environment
In the past 12 months organizations in the study have experienced a range of disruptions to their operations. The disruptions include system downtime (66%), system slowdowns (64%) cybersecurity breaches (28%), and permanent loss of data (15%). And the ramification of these disruptions is felt throughout the company anytime a system is compromised.
When it comes to what BDMs are most concerned about, cloud security (52%), computer viruses and malware (50%) and internal data leaks (49%) are the top three cybersecurity threats. But hackers (47%), password vulnerability (46%) and phishing scams (42%) are also of great concern.
Although BDMs are now more aware of the threats, their ability to tackle them is getting harder because of the shortage of skilled professionals.
The Critical Shortage of Skilled Professionals
Maintaining internal staff is a huge problem. The report points out there is a critical shortage of uniquely skilled professionals in the labor pool. This, of course, further exacerbates the threats SMBs face to their organization.
Decision-makers say retaining IT staff (59%), difficulty recruiting and hiring IT staff (57%) and lack of time for strategic focus due to day-to-day issues (46%) are their biggest challenges.
The problem also extends to the lack of emerging IT skills in cloud, mobility and security. With 52% of people in IT roles indicating their staff lacks the right IT skills for emerging technology. The number goes down by almost half (29%) for non-IT roles.
Logically is a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) to small and midsize organizations. According to the company, businesses have three options for their IT solutions.
Build up their in-house team, augment their team, and totally outsource their IT. The answer will depend on what your needs and capabilities are. The key, according to Logically, is to find a solution which allows the company to achieve its strategic goals without making potentially costly mistakes along the way.
Read the full report here and take a look at the small business IT trends in infographic below.