Failures In IT Investment Threatens British Business

UK companies are putting their businesses at risk through lack of IT investment, research has revealed.

According to a recent survey, a shocking 60% of companies spent less than £1,000 on IT in the past five years, despite the same figure (60%) acknowledging that technology could vastly improve their business and increase profits.

Small-medium sized businesses (SMEs) from a cross section of industries took part in the survey, which was carried out by network support company Lifeline IT.

It revealed that less than a third (27%) had thought seriously about the importance of IT when starting their company, yet 60% admitted calling in costly emergency IT support to rectify problems caused by poor IT infrastructure.

Of those questioned, 60% said they handled their IT in-house, rather than using external expertise, despite over a third (33%) admitting they lack technical ability.

The findings are particularly significant in light of the increasing reliance of companies on modern technology to improve their performance, as well as the growing threat of IT security issues.

The survey findings support recent global studies that show UK SMEs have some of the worst network security in Europe, with 25% admitting that security breaches had led to loss of business and almost a quarter (22%) of small companies having no security software.

Commenting on the findings, Daniel Mitchell, Director of Lifeline IT said: "It is alarming that businesses are failing to invest in IT. By making some prudent spending on the right systems, it could save you thousands of pounds in the medium and long term. Having competent and secure IT infrastructure in place doesn't have to cost the earth - it's about getting the right advice from IT specialists who understand your business needs and can make the best recommendations for your company."

Surprisingly, more than half (54%) of those who took part ranked having good IT support as the top priority to help run their business, citing it more important than having the right banking support (23%) and a competent accountant (54%).

Lifeline IT, a network support company which manages, sets up and develops IT systems for small to medium sized businesses, carried out the research to gain a greater understanding of the IT needs of SMEs.

The survey polled companies from retail, manufacturing and marketing industries, as well as a cross section of businesses from professional services.

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