Cbeyond has released the results of its Summer 2013 Cbeyond Business Leader Snapshot, a blind survey of 711 executives who run a business with 1-250 employees. The survey was released at a most fitting time, as this is National Small Business Week! Check out our related blog on this topic that we posted up earlier this week on this cool celebration.The snapshot offered by Cbeyond provides insight into the most important business and technology issues facing SMBs. The 2013 summer issue is the second edition of the survey which was first launched December 2012.
Complete 2013 survey findings are available at http://go.cbeyond.com/Business-Leader-Snapshot-Summer-2013.html.
Multiple findings highlighted the need for anytime, anywhere connection, with mobile services growing in importance among SMB leaders and surpassing—for the first time—Applications in importance. Of the respondents, 42 percent said operating their business without mobile services would be a major challenge, while 34 percent said their businesses could not survive without mobile services.
Nearly half (41 percent) of SMB leaders vacation less than twice a year, with 18 percent taking no vacation at all. Naturally, the ability to work remotely remains top of mind— 79 percent consider the ability to work remotely when on vacation important while 89 percent consider working remotely on a regular basis as important.
While most business leaders have taken steps to ensure the security of their business computers and information, just under a third (32 percent) are unsure or do not believe their information is adequately protected. More than a fifth of respondents (22 percent) stated they have developed a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to address data access through personal devices such as tablets and smart phones among others.
Other findings showed technology spending remains strong for SMB leaders. Nearly five times as many (59 percent) expect an increase in technology spending in 2013 compared to those expecting a decrease (13 percent).
Small business leaders also expect technology to play a major role in their businesses in 2013. The specific technologies business leaders said would be very or somewhat important to them in the coming year ranked as follows:
· 95 percent network access (high-speed, always-on Internet access).
· 93 percent mobile services.
· 92 percent desktop/laptop management (desktop support, software/antivirus maintenance).
· 83 percent applications (security, productivity and collaboration software).
· 74 percent enterprise-grade voice and broadband services.
· 70 percent cloud services.
The survey also discussed cloud services, of which the following below remain “critical” to SMB leaders.
· 39 percent online backup
· 35 percent company email
· 32 percent file sharing
When asked about access to credit, 65 percent of business leaders surveyed say accessing low interest loans remains a challenge with fewer than one in 10 (7 percent) saying they have good prospects to raise such loans to expand their business.
Other findings reveal that despite the recent uptick in the Dow, 70 percent of SMBs are not expecting any impact on their business or are uncertain if there is an impact at all.
The survey also said that since last year’s presidential election, 70 percent of business leaders say they don’t trust the current administration and Congress!