UK SMBs are receiving inadequate customer support and intelligence prior to making crucial technology buying decisions, according to a study commissioned by Cisco.
According to the survey of 400 UK SMBs, nearly half of firms (42%) feel left in the lurch after buying technology, due to insufficient post-sales support or training.
The second largest complaint blighting IT buying, highlighted by 41% of the respondents, was the feeling of having enterprise scale technology imposed on them, as opposed to products tailored to their size.
The research highlighted a split in terms of "savvy" IT procurement decision-making, and uninformed technology choices. A large proportion of tech decision-makers conduct sound research in magazines and journals (57%), seek advice from peers in other companies (38%) and external business consultants (38%) prior to buying IT.
However, 13% of respondents make their decisions based on gut feeling. This trend was especially prevalent among very young start-ups where over one in five selected technology on gut feeling as opposed to specific research. Despite facing significant barriers to their purchasing, the research reflected a high degree of confidence in IT.
The companies credited technology with multiple benefits for their businesses, including 77% experiencing improved customer service, 76% experiencing improved productivity and 45% using technology to compete on a level playing field with competitors. Despite a great appreciation of the business benefits of IT, due to a lack of resources 36% of SMBs are not able to employ an IT manager with the knowledge to maximise their IT investment.