More Revenue and Customers? Shame Using Tech Is So Frustrating, Survey Shows

I spend just about every waking hour trying to educate growing businesses how to use technology as a tool to grow their business. I do this through writing, speaking or educating journalists.
However, one of the constant frustrations is that business owners and entrepreneurs still find technology way too hard to use.
I know there are many companies such as Intuit, Microsoft, Dell and HP who are doing their best to make technology simpler, but it’s still a challenge. Even groups such as the The Small Business Web have come together to support easier information sharing of business data.
SMB Group conducted a study which found that “small-medium sized businesses are often unable to get the metrics they need to better manage their businesses–and have a hard time sorting through a plethora of technology jargon and fuzzy, indistinct solution value propositions to figure out what solutions will help them”, said, Laurie McCabe, Partner, SMB Group.
Read the press release here.
The survey results show the following:

In the past 24 months, SMBs have been concentrating the bulk of their spending on
customer facing applications, such online marketing, Web sites, contact/customer
management that have a direct correlation to helping them to attract new customers,
grow revenues and weather the recession.
In 2010, plans to implement customer-facing solution remain strong—but SMBs are
also turning some of their attention to other areas as well, including infrastructure and
collaboration, and business analytics in the medium business sector
Pent up demand.
These findings confirm SMB Group’s 2010 Top 10 SMB Technology Market Predictions
that as the economy exits the recession, SMBs would be more willing to spend
again. However, though pent-up demand for technology solutions and services is in
evidence, it won’t be easy for vendors to capture. SMBs will spend only if they believe
that the investment will help them operate more profitably, grow revenues, increase
productivity, save money or gain time-to-market advantages. SMBs also need to
balance investments in solutions that will give them strategic, long-term advantages vs.
those that meet more urgent, short-term needs.
The survey also revealed that SMBs are often frustrated and confused about how to
apply technology solutions to help them achieve their business goals. SMB respondents
state that their top two technology challenges are to figure out how different types
of solutions can help their businesses, and to get better insights out of the data they
already have,
SMBs find it tough to sort through a plethora of new technologies, geek-speak
and indistinct solution value propositions to figure out what solutions will help their
businesses, and frustrated that its difficult to pull out the information and insights they
need from the solutions and data they already have. Interestingly, these challenges
are just as significant in medium businesses as in small ones, despite the fact that
most medium businesses have IT staff, larger IT budgets and better access to external
technology advisors.