January 20, 2021

SME Business News

Small Business News UK

Research shows 25% surge in IT support requests for SMEs since the pandemic began

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Cantium Business Solutions, a specialist provider of IT, HR and Finance solutions, has revealed how IT support services in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have coped since the start of the lockdown period.

The survey of 939 IT decision-makers drawn from SMEs across Great Britain showed that a quarter of those surveyed reported an increase in IT support tickets and requests since lockdown restrictions came into place mid-March this year. Medium-sized businesses saw a particular increase with 59 percent reporting more support requests, while the figure for small businesses was 39 percent.

Connectivity issues (46 percent) topped the list of support challenges facing IT service desks in SMEs, followed by computer issues such as laptops not turning on, freezing or poor battery (28 percent) and networking issues including lost access to shared drives at 24 percent. Connectivity was the biggest issue for medium-sized businesses (52 percent).

Investment in IT support set to increase
The survey also asked about attitudes towards investment in IT support services. Almost three quarters (72 percent) of SME IT decision-makers agreed that IT support investment is likely to grow for all organisations over the next five-years.

Mark Scott, CEO at Cantium Business Solutions, comments on the results regarding investment: “We’re seeing an increase in demand for IT support services and with this comes the need to shift to self-serve models that address the needs of a more mobile workforce. IT professionals will need to consider how they create an experience for employees that empowers them with knowledge and solutions. Part of this will be investment in technologies that support channel shift and enable accurate, convenient and faster IT support interactions.”

The data suggests that as SMEs shift interactions to online channels, technologies and tools such as web chat (29 percent), email (26 percent) and websites (25 percent) will gain importance over the next five years. Automated technologies proved to be less popular for SMEs compared to larger organisations with over 250 employees, with IT decision-makers in large businesses placing more than twice as much importance (53 percent) on the shift to automated technologies when compared to their SME counterparts (19 percent).

IT support important for long-term remote working
The survey revealed that 85 percent believe IT support services will be important to organisations that continue to work remotely after the pandemic subsides.

Mark adds: “We’re seeing a firm focus being placed on IT support. Especially for organisations looking to carry on working from home long term, with 85 percent of IT professionals within SMEs citing the importance of IT service desks. Although not every SME has made the switch, the increase in support requests seen over the last six months shows there has been overall disruption to the working lives of employees across all sectors. It’s important that investment and support for IT services continues to enable positive and productive experiences for employees.“ Mark concludes.

To learn more about Cantium Solutions, visit: https://cantium.solutions/