Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/16/bt_talks_smee/

Small biz stumped on tech adoption

BT looks at SMEs

By John Oates

Posted in Small Biz, 16th November 2006 12:53 GMT

Small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the UK want to adopt new technologies but aren't sure where to go for information and often lack the skills to manage and implement projects, according to a BT report.

The report found that the majority of SMEs don't have dedicated technology staff but rely on friends and family for help.

There are some 4.3 million SMEs in the UK. Most are run by specialists in their industry rather than technology experts. These range from one man bands to companies with up to 250 staff. In the UK 97 per cent of companies have less than 20 staff.

This means that purchasing, management, and operating technology are all difficult for the typical small business. But despite these challenges, most SMEs do not believe they have a shortfall in IT skills.

So despite recognising the benefits of technology, businesses are slow to adopt them.

Other barriers to adoption mentioned by small businesses include: "High perceived cost versus low perceived benefit and relevance, concerns over reliability and security, and a lack of trust of outside advisors and value-added retailers."

Although 34 per cent of smaller companies (between 20 and 100 staff) have no idea what a converged network is, some 32 per cent claim to have migrated to a fully converged IP network.

You can download an executive summary or the full report here in exchange for your email and phone number.

BT based its findings on a survey of 1,269 SMEs conducted by YouGov on its behalf.®