SMEs are in danger of application overload

Small and medium-sized businesses are finding it hard to keep control of the number of applications they run with small companies using an average of more than a dozen.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

A survey has shown that the average small business with fewer than 1,000 email users will run, an average, 13.4 applications on a daily basis. This figure rises to 15.5 applications in organisations with more than 1,000 users.

The research also found that new employees joining a firm were provisioned with somewhere between four and eight applications in small to mid-sized organisations, although understandably IT and other technical staff required the greatest number of applications.

The survey, which was conducted by Intermedia using data from Osterman Research, found that 288 end users are supported by each full-time equivalent (FTE) IT staff member in small to mid-sized organisations, while 694 users are supported by each FTE IT staff member in larger ones.

The research said this explains why small to mid-sized organisations are often more highly motivated to migrate key elements of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, since the cost savings from reducing IT staff costs can have a bigger impact.

Among SMEs with fewer than 1,000 employees only 7.4 percent currently have a single management console for all the systems they manage. The situation in larger companies is better, but not much better as only 12 percent have a single console. At the same time, the survey pointed out, IT managers are crying out for a centralised management console — only 3 percent said they had no interest in one.

The research also found a desire for more systems to be provided by a single vendor. Among both small to mid-sized and larger organisations, 34 percent said having a single vendor for as many systems as possible is either desirable or very desirable.

The Osterman Research completed 121 surveys with members of Osterman's survey panel in April and on order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to be involved with IT and/or telephony management in their organisation and have no more than 10,000 email users.

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