New survey reveals the true cost of IT neglect on UK businesses

IT issues are costing small businesses valuable time, effort and profits, as they don't have the tools needed to tackle them.

Two-fifths of SME business owners (42 per cent) say they’ve lost income due to IT issues, according to new survey commissioned by A&O IT Group.

It seems a quarter (24 per cent) of owners typically deal with issues every week, with their regular supplier unable to resolve the problem quickly in 24 per cent of cases and nearly a third (30 per cent) admit they had recently experienced technology blackouts wiping out at least one full working day.

Launching a specialist SME and small business support service into the UK market today A&O IT asked SME business owners to consider the long-term impact of overlooking their tech support.

Despite the high-cost that computer glitches can have on a company’s bottom line, the research reveals that over half (54 per percent) don’t have annual check-ups that could identify and prevent potential system issues. What’s more, a fifth of owners (20 per cent) aren’t aware if an annual audit service is even offered by their current supplier.

The new service – A&O IT for Small Business – is designed to give SME’s the opportunity to access the world-class expertise, skill and experience of A&O IT engineers that big businesses have come to rely on around the world.

This includes a complete managed IT service through to crisis recovery, cyber security, remote data back-up, annual IT reviews, hardware management and cloud services.

Whilst time-strapped SME owners struggle to balance the challenges of running a company, 38 per cent said their suppliers don’t proactively suggest new technical developments that could optimise operational performance.

A further 35 per cent aren’t 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 per cent of the owners questioned aware that cybercrime cost UK businesses around £124 million last year according to KPMG’s Fraud Barometer – a rise of 1266 per cent – 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.

Rod Moore, chairman, A&O IT says, ‘Whilst we take it for granted that technological improvements are making our working lives simpler, it’s all too easy for tech 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.

‘In the case of A&OIT for Small Business customers, not only do they have the security of knowing their tech is being managed and maintained around the clock with annual reviews pre-empting problems but they also have the chance to access the same high levels of expertise that big businesses rely on.’