Top-tier SMBs view technology as strategic differentiator

There's a big contrast between the IT investments made by successful small companies versus those performing in the bottom tier of their industries — but they aren't necessarily spending more money.

Fully 83 percent of top-tier small and midsize businesses (SMBs) view computing technology as a point of strategic differentiation, compared with just 44 percent of those from the bottom tier of their industry, according to the 2013 Global SMB IT Confidence Index published by Symantec.

The research, conducted by ReRez Research, covered 2,452 SMBs globally that have between 10 and 250 employees. There were 20 countries represented in all.

Symantec doesn't really explain the difference between top-tier and bottom-tier in its report, except to say that it is based on how confidently a particular company approaches technology investments. 

"They are investing in the long term," said Anne O'Neill, senior director for SMB and .cloud marketing at Symantec. "And they are more likely to invest in IT infrastructure." 

That doesn't mean they are spending more money on it, though. In fact, the Symantec-backed research found that the typical top-tier SMB spends 7 percent less for IT than their bottom-tier counterpart. "This may be due to their commitment to investing in the right technology from the beginning, keeping future needs in mind," the company reports in its analysis of the data.

Here are some other high-level findings:

  • Top-tier SMBs report that the revenue loss from cyberattacks is about 50 percent less than the losses experienced by bottom-tier companies
  • They tend to rate storage management as easier than their counterparts
  • Three-quarters of them believe that mobile technology is important for driving business innovation