Small and growing businesses are not technology laggards. Mid-tier companies are more likely than large companies to be early and midstream technology adopters, and they are increasing IT spending faster, according to past CIO Insight surveys.
But their spending on collaboration is the exception to this trend. Companies with revenues of less than $500 million use fewer collaboration tools than larger companies and are increasing spending in this market more slowly.
There’s a case to be made that smaller firms don’t need these tools as much: They have fewer employees, locations and processes to coordinate. But it’s also possible they’re overlooking factors that argue for more IT support, including the rise of telecommuting and a more mobile workforce, and the power of sharing and storing project, process and other kinds of information these tools offer. The lack of adequate training for collaboration software already in place also indicates neglect.
In our Top Trends Survey for 2008, IT executives at midtier companies rated collaboration and workflow the second most important technologies of 2008. Given that, CIOs at these companies should revisit these technologies, even in today’s cost-constrained environment.