Dashboard: May 2006
If the Boy Scout motto is “be prepared,” there must not be many scouts who go on to own small businesses. A new survey sponsored by MasterCard International found that 77 percent of U.S. small-business owners admit that their businesses are not fully prepared for a natural disaster and an even higher proportion, 84 percent, aren’t worried that a disaster will impact their business within the next 12 months.
Despite their laissez-faire attitude about natural disasters, nearly 80 percent of small-business owners said they back up their company’s financial records, but only 52 percent said they store backup media off-site. Only 20 percent of the business owners surveyed said loss of financial records was their biggest concern in the event of a disaster. The top concern — cited by 25 percent of respondents — was losing customers.
Source: Harris Interactive March 2006
|We don’t have a retention policy||19%|
Write-in suggestions that didn’t make the cut for obvious reasons:
“Do some companies have actual retention policies?”
“You mean you can back up Exchange? C’mon, be serious.”
Source: CDW survey of 124 BizTech readers
Until technology convergence combines keys, credit cards, personal data assistants, cell phones and other gadgets into one device, most IT managers must carry a growing horde of unwieldy necessities. Instead of schlepping your stuff in a knapsack or purse, BizTech reader Worth Brown thinks his CellKeeper is a better fit for IT folks on the go. Brown came up with the idea because he lacked a convenient way to tote his cell when walking the dog. According to Brown, the CellKeeper helps the wearer “escape the fashion faux pas of the fanny pack.” The Chicago-based startup offers nine styles in 25 different fabrics and colors.
If you’d like a free CellKeeper, send us your feedback on a current IT challenge or question that you’d like BizTech to tackle. Post your query on the feedback button at www.biztechmagazine.com. CellKeepers are free while supplies last.
Women business owners are significantly more inclined to exploit the Internet to grow their companies than their male counterparts, according to data from the Center for Women’s Business Research (cfwbr.org), a Washington, D.C., nonprofit. Only 6.6 percent of U.S. businesses with more than $1 million in annual sales are owned by women, yet of that group 58 percent of the women say the Internet plays a “moderately or extremely important” role in their growth strategies, compared with only 35 percent of male business owners. Women business owners outdistance men in deploying e-commerce as well, with 56 percent reporting that they have Web sites capable of fulfilling online transactions, while only 38 percent of male business owners say they take online transactions, according to the study, underwritten by AT&T and KeyBank.
A recently released report by the Small Business Administration found that technically oriented industries — as evidenced by the increased employment of scientists and engineers — are more accommodating to small, fast-growing private firms than to large, fast-growing public firms. The study examined the relationship between technological innovation and the distribution of high-growth firms within industries, and concluded that as industries become more production oriented, they become dominated by large, fast-growing public companies. The study found that 60 percent of the high-growth small firms offer services, compared with 28 percent of large public firms, while manufacturing industries are dominated by larger firms.
I Think, Therefore IM
Does your company allow end users to utilize instant messaging?
|Yes, on an ad hoc basis||42%|
|Yes, we’re standardized on IM||13%|
|No, we view it as a security
or productivity concern
|No, but some people use it anyway||19%|
|No, but we’re considering allowing it||3%|
Source: CDW survey of 124 BizTech readers
The research group IDC expects small- and medium-sized business (SMB) spending for IT services to climb nearly 11 percent this year to almost $73 billion. In 2005, SMBs spent almost $66 billion on IT services,according to the Framingham, Mass.-based firm.Security spending will lead the way. IDC is predicting a 26 percent spending increase by SMBs on intrusion detection and prevention products and services and a boost of 25 percent for unified threat management in 2006.