SMB Tech: Adopting New Technologies May Require Bigger Tech Support Budget

    In a recent blog, I discussed the results of a report by Brother on how small businesses believed that investing in new technology provided a better ROI than investing in new employees. Another statistic from that report showed that 64 percent of the respondents felt “overwhelmed” by new technology. This response isn’t surprising if you consider that another report by Parks Associates identified that small businesses spend less than $1,000 per year on technical support services. If you couple those two percentages with the fact that technology advancements are on the rise in every market including BYOD, the Internet of Things, social networking and the cloud, running a small business in the digital age can be downright daunting.

    New technology being implemented by SMBs is opening new doors for tech support service providers to grow. Jim O’Neill, research analyst for Parks Associates, paints a positive picture for service partners that provide help desk support:

    “Businesses of all sizes have been relentless in their adoption of new technologies. They have acquired new hardware and often allow the use of employees’ own devices, creating a complex environment of support needs. Throw the cloud and its various services into the mix, as well as the need of SMBs to curtail their expenses, and you have a perfect storm of opportunity for companies that can provide 24/7 help desks, remote software and hardware support, and the occasional site visit. Tech support, especially for very small businesses, is approaching a boom phase.”

    Many SMBs find outsourcing their help desks to be worth the money. According to PCMag, Key Yancey, CEO of SCORE, is a firm backer of IT support services and says that his organization has support staff come in as needed.

    But in the same post, John Wandish, vice president of marketing for Brother, pointed out that the key to enlisting the right technology—and perhaps the right service providers—is in knowing how your company functions:

    “Tech can’t fix everything. Sometimes the issue is figuring out the business process. Identifying and outlining business processes makes it easier for small businesses to sort through the best technology for their business needs.”

    Once a small business knows its own processes, it can figure out which technologies are essential to business. It can also more easily identify a tech support service provider that fits its needs and its budget. Leaders should detail the specific tasks required for a product or service to be completed. Good questions to ask of your business prior to meeting with a tech support services provider include:

    • What technologies are required to complete our business processes?
    • For which technologies will our company require technical support?
    • Are there new technologies that may be added soon that may also require further support?

    Chances are, if your business has adopted new technologies, whether it be new computers, mobile devices or cloud services, it will need to increase its support budget to help users get used to the new systems and to work out the kinks within the business processes.

    Parks Associates Analyst Patrice Samuels explained further how SMBs’ needs for support are on the rise in an article on Telecompetitor:

    “… new technology products and services are increasingly complex and promise increased functional capabilities. This year, SMBs will spend nearly $400 million for computer and network setup and installation services. Their need for support will continue to increase as new devices enter the workplace and as use of telecommuting and cloud-based services continues to grow.”

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