Given the fact it can be an essential part of establishing a functioning infrastructure, it’s not a huge surprise that investing in software is a key outlay for most small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Recent research by IT management and monitoring software producer SolarWinds revealed that the average yearly spend on software for UK SMEs totalled €14,115 (£11,986), representing a significant investment for any small company. However, the same study has also revealed that nearly nine-tenths of enterprises don’t make use of all the software they buy.
The SolarWinds SME IT Survey demonstrated that just 12% of SMEs utilised all of the software they invested in. A significant two-fifths of respondents revealed that between 1% and 10% of their software was going unused and more than a quarter admitted this figure went as high as 20%. The most severe cases – where more than 36% of software went unused – was only experienced by a minority, totalling some 6% of SMEs surveyed.
You might think this reflects a rather laissez faire attitude toward IT budgets but in actual fact plenty of SMEs are giving their tech spend plenty of focus. A majority of UK enterprises have seen their IT budget increase over the last five years, with half of the responding firms indicating that they had seen increased IT funding and only one tenth experiencing a cut. Clearly maximising the return on this investment is of vital importance to firms, as, of those that did not receive an IT budget increase, 32% felt it had a detrimental effect on their security and / or uptime.
All told then there’s clearly a few conflicting priorities within SMEs’ IT departments. Refocusing on the most efficient ways of utilising software could represent the easiest way for enterprises to get the most bang for their IT buck.