An intelligent approach to technology drives successful businesses, according to a Cisco commissioned survey of 600 small and mid-size UK companies by Dynamic Markets.
The survey report concluded that faster growth is associated with businesses that embrace new technology, allow flexible working, and have support from management for investing strategically in IT.
This was based on finding that high-growth companies with increases in turnover of more than 15% in the past year, typically viewed their IT network as a strategic asset. They were also twice as likely to have flexible working capabilities, nearly seven times as likely to offer Wi-Fi networking, and had more robust information security and retrieval capabilities.
Nick Watson, vice president for enterprise business for Cisco UK & Ireland, said it was clear from the research that strategic technology investments alone could not drive positive business outcomes.
“The IT network can provide the platform for new and productive working experiences, but the bottom-line growth is only really guaranteed when executives show leadership and support for IT in their organisation,” he said.
The study revealed that while IT investment drives success, almost 18% of business managers believed their organisation was being held back because it did not know where to invest in IT to get the best return.
Business managers’ top concern was finding and retaining the most talented staff, yet 47% said their company did not allow remote or teleworking, and 38% said they allow staff to work remotely or from home only under certain circumstances.
The research report said the apparent unease with remote and home working among business managers was reflected in IT investment plans, with home working ranking as the lowest influencing factor on IT managers’ technology investment priorities in the next 12 to 18 months.
The study also showed that smaller businesses still lag behind their larger counterparts in technology adoption and outlook. SMBs employing up to 250 people reported a lower wireless network adoption and remote/home working technology capabilities.
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