Fasthosts has revealed that 48 per cent of firms regularly make substantial purchases of new technology without being certain they fully need them.

According to the new research from the UK web hosting [http://www.fasthosts.co.uk/web-hosting ] provider, data from 788 UK small firms* found a huge divide in terms of success with using technology in the workplace. For 1 in 3 firms, implementing new business technology such as smartphones, notepads and computer software, has failed to improve efficiencies. Only 1 in 4 SMEs seeks advice from an IT professional. Furthermore, only 1 in 10 firms disappointed with a piece of technology has gone back to their technology supplier or IT advisor to ask for help. The study concludes that it is vital for businesses to plan technology investments properly, working with suppliers to ensure the correct systems are purchased to address the required needs. Firms can save money by evaluating their needs earlier in the process.

Fasthosts’ ‘Business Technology Audit’ found that too many firms today struggle with the way they buy and use technology for their work. Whilst the vast majority are upbeat about technology, many find success with new technology items to be rather hit-or-miss. A total of 35 per cent admit that their latest technology purchases have either led them to work longer hours or failed to impact their work efficiencies. Furthermore, only 41 per cent of respondents believe that staff find using technology to be enjoyable, and 1 in 5 firms employ staff who are frightened of receiving new technology. Some 48 per cent have indeed achieved more efficient or ‘smarter working’ through their use of technology.

Stephen Holford, Marketing Director, Fasthosts Internet Ltd, commented: “Busy business owners can struggle to find the time and advice needed to ensure all technology investments are well placed. A lacks approach to researching technology in relation to their needs can lead firms to waste money on solutions that simply do not perform.”

Alarmingly, only 11 per cent of UK small firms review whether a technology has worked well after every new piece is introduced. Only 1 in 10 disappointed with the impact a technology has made, has addressed this with either the supplier or IT advisor who provided it. Surprisingly, only 1 in 4 firms seek the advice of an IT professional before they make substantial investments in technology, a worrying trend which shows businesses should work with their suppliers before purchase to ensure they buy the right solution.

Holford added: “It is vital to plan technology investments properly, working with suppliers to ensure the correct systems are purchased to address the required needs. Knowledge is often the key, so contact suppliers to ask for advice, guidelines, case studies or examples of best-practice usage before an investment and on an on-going basis.”

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