According to an AMI-Partners small-business study commissioned by Microsoft, small businesses worldwide lose more than US$24 billion in productivity every year when non-technical employees, referred to as involuntary IT managers (IITMs), are tasked with managing their company's IT solutions. This loss is a direct result of the IITMs taking time away from their primary business activities.
In India, small businesses lost US$2.67 billion in productivity, while spending US$6.67 billion on IT/Telecom. IITMs in India lose 7.6 hours of productivity per week managing IT, incidentally, the highest productivity loss of all countries surveyed.
The Involuntary IT Manager study takes a broad look at the prevalence of the IITM's role in nine countries in North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, focusing specifically on the adverse business productivity impact of IITMs in small business in Australia, Brazil, Chile, India and the United States.
Surveying 538 IITMs across nationally representative samples of small businesses with 100 employees or less in the five countries, the AMI-Partners research study determined that approximately 3.8 million small businesses managed internal IT by IITMs.
The survey also found that small businesses' IITMs think cloud-based solutions can help alleviate some of the burdens of managing IT. Also, communication, collaboration, and cloud solutions are top of mind among nearly 40 percent of IITMs looking to leverage technology for business growth.
"The cloud, when delivered right, is a game-changer, providing small businesses with the IT solutions they need to solve their most challenging small-business technology concerns," said Meetul B. Patel, general manager of small, mid-market solutions and partner (SMS&P) India for Microsoft. He added with Microsoft cloud solutions, the job of the Involuntary IT Manager gets a lot easier.
AMI-Partners found that in India, IITMs are interested in leveraging the cloud with 25 percent of small businesses likely to shift more IT spending towards hosted or cloud solutions, and 39 percent of the small businesses interested in purchasing online productivity suites on a per-user per-month basis.
This would definitely augur well for Microsoft after it recently introduced Office 365 for Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs) in India. According to the software giant, Office 365 integrates seamlessly with the cloud, unlocking newer productivity scenarios and providing organizations with the desired IT control and management.