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Costs outweigh security concerns for small.biz

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The daily cost of business support has edged out security issues as the top concern of IT managers at UK small businesses. A survey by Computer Associates (CA) found that 27 per cent of IT managers worry about the day-to-day costs of supporting business priorities, slipping ahead of traditional fears of security breaches.

Some 25 per cent said that IT security fears keep them awake at night, followed compliance and liability issues and budget worries, which plague 21 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

“Small companies want to focus on business priorities, not worry about IT,” said Dave Ball of CA. “IT performance is best measured in terms of its ability to help the business meet its own objectives.”

Small companies, however, need to learn how to better prioritise their IT support so that they do not waste their already limited IT resources. Many, he said, support all areas of their business equally when certain sections may warrant more attention.

CA found that 34 per cent of IT managers do not prioritise which areas of their business receive support, and they overwhelmingly make their decisions based on ‘whoever shouts the loudest’.

Part of the problem may be that IT decision-makers do not have clearly defined roles in most small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, Ball said.

Less than half such firms have IT-specific roles, with the others relying on staff ranging from general administrators to the owners.

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