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Poor tech choices damage productivity and cut income

Mid-sized businesses are less efficient and are losing money because they give staff the wrong computing devices to do their jobs

Almost a quarter (23%) of IT decision makers at mid-sized UK businesses claim giving the wrong IT equipment to employees reduces productivity and income.

On top of damaging businesses’ income, the failure to supply suitable computing devices is causing staff to leave their jobs, according to a survey carried out by BT.

Yet despite recognising that the wrong equipment could result in lost productivity, income and staff, only 10% of these IT decision makers believed their employees had the right devices to do their jobs.

The survey, which questioned 100 IT decision makers at companies with between 1,000 and 2,000 staff, also found that mobility was the most challenging task for 17% of these CIOs as a result. Access to online and cloud services was found to be the biggest challenge for 13% of them.

A total of 10% said the fact that employees were not properly equipped was also an HR issue, because it meant people were likely to leave the business as a result, or the business might find it more difficult to attract the best staff.

Cost, integration and management were cited as issues holding back the adoption of the right devices. Almost half of respondents (44%) said capital cost or budgetary issues were the biggest barrier to getting the right devices, 27% blamed integration challenges, while 10% said it was down to the cost of management.

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Jamie Ford, managing director of digital, product and strategy at BT Business and Public Sector, said: “Having the latest device isn’t a case of keeping up with the Joneses, it’s all about having the best tool for the job. The impact of not having the right technology – particularly devices – in place can be far reaching and have a significant impact on businesses.

Many businesses have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy to help overcome some of these problems. By supporting employees’ choice of devices, companies can keep staff happy and increase productivity by enabling people to work where they want. But this brings its own management challenges, with escalating costs and security risks potential problems if the right policies are not in place.

Read more on Managing IT and business issues