Based on surveys of 1000 SMBs (up to 100 employees with at least one PC) a number of key trends emerged. Firstly, that SMBs are again conscious of the global economic situation and are reducing their IT spend, this year planning to spend around 15% less than last year. Mirroring this, the SMBs are seeking to leverage other avenues to be seen in the world with around 30% on Facebook and 20% each with profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn.
While embracing the move to more portable devices - an increase in tablet usage mirrored a decline in laptops, strikingly, nearly three-quarters of SMBs did not agree with the statement that "the use of mobile phones in business represents a threat to IT security."
Lloyd Borrett, Security Evangelist at AVG (AU/NZ), said "Businesses must equate online security with corporate governance and brand protection. New mobility technologies and social networking open businesses to opportunities for growth but also introduce the very nasty reality of security breaches and information theft."
An interest in cloud-based services is growing, but there is very little understanding of the risks surrounding such activities. Furthermore, when questioned on the issue of IT security breaches, most were only able to point to the short-term effects of data loss and business resumption without any understanding of longer-term implications.
One survey participant in six reported some kind of IT breach, whether this was a data-loss incident or simply a loss of productivity, GfK was able to estimate around 30m lost man-hours in rectifying the results of breaches.
When asked of their requirements for security software, the consistent answer was to 1) deliver the right level of protection, 2) not impact on business performance and 3) work in the background.
One wonders which company has products like that.
The SMB Market Landscape Report 2011 is a very interesting document; well worth reading.