In the Loop: Small businesses struggling with IT

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

The increasing complexity of IT systems has been outed as the biggest challenge for Australian small businesses in 2017.

Welcome to In the Loop, our monthly snapshot of Telstra’s research into the state of small business in Australia.

Almost one third of small businesses in Australia are struggling to manage the complex nature of modern IT environments and digital systems.

As part of the latest Telstra Loop survey, 31 per cent of respondents nominated growing digital intricacies as the number one technology-related concern in 2017. Managing the glut of services, devices, products and providers was also highlighted as a key issue for small business. 

Image shows man slumped over desk looking at paperwork and a laptop computer Small businesses are struggling with complex IT systems.

External research supports these findings with a TechAisle study showing more than 60 percent of SMEs would ignore potentially useful technologies because of IT complexity while another recent survey found that of the businesses that felt technology had a poor ROI, more than 30 per cent blamed complexity. 

The data is hardly surprising. For any given business problem, a huge range of products and services will lay claim to having the solution, and just choosing the right tool can cause unwelcome stress. Solving multiple problems? Well, now you’re looking at additional technology. The equation can be overwhelming.

So how can small businesses simplify their IT initiatives? The first step is to acknowledge (or define) foreseeable business objectives. This will help identify the most useful technologies and dismiss those that won’t help achieve your business goals.

The ultimate aim is to streamline workflow so conduct an audit of the current efficiency (or otherwise) of business processes. The right technologies can put an end to fragmentation between staff members and departments, but only if users are engaged and on board. Investigate where a single provider might be able to deliver multiple devices, services and technologies. Bundling such services will help reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Since workplace technologies are constantly evolving, establishing systems flexible enough to support business growth is integral to creating a manageable IT environment that works hard for you. 

This survey is based on the Telstra Loop community of small and medium businesses across Australia. This community is open to small businesses customers of Telstra, enabling them to provide feedback to Telstra and improve products and services. 

If you are a small or medium business, join the community by visiting the Telstra Loop.

Find Out More

group of people at a big event
Success Stories
Success Stories
Lab coats and hard hats are a winning combination in the 2017 Telstra Northern Territory Business Awards

A geotechnical testing and sampling company, HiQA Geotechnical, is the 2017 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year.

group of people at a big event
Success Stories
Success Stories
Distillery takes top spot at the 2017 Telstra Western Australian Business Awards

Home of the Limeburners whisky, Great Southern Distilling Company is the 2017 Telstra Western Australian Business of the Year.

SA Telstra Business Award Winners
Success Stories
Success Stories
Innovative aged-care online clinic announced as winner of 2017 Telstra SA Business Awards

Online clinic platform, GenWise Health, is the 2017 Telstra South Australian Business of the Year.

Image shows three business people sitting around a table at a meeting with the man’s shadow swinging a tennis racket.
Business IQ
Business IQ
Andre Agassi on business: Five short-term goals for long-term success

If there is anyone who knows about goal setting, it’s an elite athlete. That’s why, when tennis icon Andre Agassi was speaking at the latest Telstra Vantage event, we paid atte...