Gut feelings drive firms' IT decisions

Start-up companies more likely to shun expert advice

Over a tenth of UK small businesses are making uninformed IT decisions based on "gut feelings", a new study has revealed.

Research by Cisco Systems found that 13 per cent of small companies are making major IT decisions without conducting sound research or seeking advice.

The trend is most prevalent among start-up businesses, according to Cisco. More than one in five young firms reported selecting technology on gut feeling rather than specific research.

"Start-up businesses must do more with less and simply cannot afford to make ill-considered judgements around IT," said Bernadette Wightman, of Cisco Systems UK.

The study found that in most small firms, technology decisions are left to the business owner or managing director. One in 10 companies delegates IT management to its finance department.

The majority, however, said they recognise the importance of IT and its benefits for business.

Many admitted to not having the resources to employ an IT expert, with a fifth saying they use the 75 member staff mark as the standard for the point at which they need to take on an IT manager.

The survey also found that 41 per cent of businesses' IT reservations stem from feeling as if new technology is imposed on them rather than them being offered products tailored to their company's size.

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