Reasons Why Small Businesses Often Fail at IT, and How a CIO Can Help

Every small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owner aims to enhance operational efficiency, reduce expenses, and increase profits. To do so requires effective IT. Those that fail to make technology work to their advantage are often doomed to failure.

But because business IT is becoming more and more complex, it’s no longer enough to have cutting-edge technology — companies must have an IT strategy that aligns with their business goals.

A CIO (Chief Information Officer) not only helps align your IT systems with your core business operations, but also ensures you avoid the fate of 20% of small businesses that fail in their first year. Here are some of the reasons why SMBs fail at IT and how a CIO can help.

Overwhelming Everyday IT Tasks

It’s important for an SMB’s in-house IT team to perform tasks like setting up workstations, installing security patches, and troubleshooting PC issues. However, these routine functions leave them with no time to implement useful technology that actually improves operations.

Suppose your business is in the process of adopting a customer relationship management (CRM) system. If your key IT personnel are constantly sidetracked by routine IT issues, they may end up neglecting the CRM project, which may cause problems for its intended users.

Despite not being involved in your company’s day-to-day IT, a CIO can recommend best practices in handling challenging situations that involve solving technical problems and implementing new solutions. That’s because aside from excellent technical skills, they also possess leadership skills that allow them to direct IT staff members in how to prioritize IT tasks and projects.

Refusal to Spend on IT

The average annual salary of an in-house CIO ranges from $80,000–270,00, an amount no small online retail business owner in his right mind would spend on a single employee.

While it’s understandable for some SMBs to scrimp on this and other IT costs, paying for technological expertise is an investment that pays off in the long run. As a small-business owner, a practical solution is to outsource your CIO needs, which lets you benefit from a certified professional’s high-level technical expertise without the excessive costs.

What’s more, a CIO helps you make informed decisions about which IT assets to invest in and how they can improve your bottom line.

Poor IT Management

Many businesses fail for several reasons, including a lack of effective leadership, insufficient planning, and poor management.

For many small businesses, it may be because some entrepreneurs handle everything themselves — including marketing, finance, human resources, and technology — not knowing that inefficiency in any one of these areas could prove disastrous to the entire company.

It’s necessary for organizations to assign a dedicated expert who can handle specific areas of the business. When it comes to technology, business owners should assign an expert with comprehensive business and IT savvy to make decisions about the right technology that can keep operations running optimally at all times.

Failure to Innovate

Nokia once dominated the mobile phone market worldwide, but its failure to adapt their strategy to the fast-changing landscape of mobile technology eventually caused their downfall. Organizations much smaller than Nokia have suffered the same fate, but you can avoid it.

A CIO from a managed IT services provider like Dyrand works as your business partner who identifies and analyzes trends in your industry, learns about your company, and anticipates future IT needs to ensure your continued success.

A CIO covers a full range of IT expertise for your business — from creating an IT infrastructure and adopting cybersecurity measures, to preparing you for a cloud migration strategy. CIO-level expertise from Dyrand Systems helps create an IT roadmap that will set your business in Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby on the path to success. Talk to us today!