Where have all the IT managers gone?

Large companies dedicate CIOs and IT managers to the task but up to 75 percent of SMBs in the Asia-Pacific region have no dedicated IT executives, new research shows.

An alarming figure considering 90 percent of Australian business is made up of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

According to industry analyst IDC, this lack of IT management across the SMB sector means senior business executives and non-technical managers are making technology decisions. IDC defines companies with one to 99 employees as small and 100 to 499 employees as medium, with revenue not being taken into account.

While there are many SMBs across the nation, IDC market analyst Brad Hill said the regional figure of 75 percent did not apply to Australia where he believes more SMBs employ qualified IT execs.

"Locally, I estimate it is closer to 60 to 65 percent," Hill said pointing out that the results of this year's SMB survey are yet to be compiled.

While the level of IT expertise makes selling into this sector interesting for vendors which have traditionally focused on products and services for the enterprise, it has left SMBs at a loss in the past when searching for simplified solutions that can be scaled down to their needs.

But with vendors rushing to take advantage of this growing market sector, this is no longer the case.

"However, when targetting this market, vendors need to remember there is a lack of IT management at most of these companies," he said, adding that it meant leaving out much of the technical information and focusing on results.

Figures from the Office of Small Business show there are about 1.1 million SMBs in Australia or about 96 percent of all businesses, which adds up to a lot of companies without specialized IT management.

The real concern, according to Gartner research director Pranav Kumar, is not that so many SMBs lack an IT manager, but the fact that they are operating with such limited technology resources irrespective of the title of the person in charge.

"Typically, medium-sized organizations have between one and five people responsible for IT; they do not have the luxury of specialization and hierarchical structure," Kumar said.

"What this generally means is that the IT staff are usually engaged in 'keeping the lights on' and not focusing on long-term IT strategy."

Kumar said the best options for such businesses are to look at outsourcing and spend more time on strategy.

"They should turn their lean style of operation into a strength through faster decision-making and senior management involvement," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Siobhan McBride

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?