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Grow Your Business Technology

Small Businesses Can Expect More Attention From Tech Firms

Small businesses are three times more likely than average consumers to use professional computer-related technical support services. And, they're willing to pay for them. As a result, tech and IT companies are increasingly customizing their services to meet the needs of multidevice environments that may include PCs, servers, tablets and smartphones, according to research firm Parks Associates.

Several large companies have already moved into the support market. Apple, for example, recently announced Joint Venture, a new support network for small businesses that combines remote and retail support for its iPads and Macs.

“Small businesses waste dozens of hours per month troubleshooting technology issues,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst of Parks Associates.

“Over 70 percent are involved with ongoing computer maintenance on a monthly basis. About half deal with Internet access issues, 44 percent troubleshoot computer problems, 31 percent troubleshoot networking issues and 27 percent deal with server problems,” according to Parks’ research.

Small businesses are most likely to use professional technical support services for server, networking and computer issues, with preferences for subscriptions that include ongoing maintenance and computer “tune-ups.”

“Small businesses often have heterogeneous technology environments, so they need support for a diverse array of technology platforms,” Scherf said. “Speed is the top factor in choosing a professional technical support service, but IT managers also like the availability of on-site options. SMBs are always watching the clock, and tech-support companies that can give back those wasted hours could capture significant market share.”