SMBs spend more on coffee than IT


Image: By BiztechAfrica
SMBs spend more on coffee than IT

Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) spend a greater amount of money on coffee and tea for their employees than they do to invest in their company’s IT. This rather surprising finding was made by worldwide market research organisation GfK during a recent study of SMBs. The aim of the survey, which was commissioned by global security software manufacturer AVG, was to explore the IT security software market landscape of SMBs.

In a world where IT is the enabler of business, this can lead to many problems for these SMBs – not least of which are the security risks they are faced with.

“The majority of SMBs are still focused on the more traditional threats to IT security, such as e-mail and web viruses, and while others are finally becoming aware of other ways in which their company’s security can be compromised, including theft of information and social engineering, not enough focus is being placed on these areas,” says Bruce Goodwill, AVG’s Sales Director for EMEA, Latin America and Australia. Only a little over half of the participating SMBs considered information security to be a major issue.

This laid back attitude many SMBs have towards IT security extends to mobile devices as well. In order to compete with larger corporations, SMBs are increasingly embracing mobile technology and providing their employees with tablets and smartphones so that they can access company information while on the go. However, few are aware of the potential security pitfalls that accompany this technology, with almost three quarters of the SMBs surveyed not agreeing that the use of mobile phones in business may represent a real threat to IT security.

“Statistics show that companies cannot afford to be so lax and ignorant about IT security and the longer term implications that it can have on their operations. The cost of IT security breaches reaches far beyond losing access to files containing customer or company information, or the money they will have to spend on replacing hardware. 

During 2011, one-in-six SMBs – which translates to more than one million companies – in the US and UK experienced an IT security breach as a result of failing or insufficient IT security. As a result, 30 million man-hours of labour were lost while rectifying the results of the security breaches. Companies lost out on USD14.87 million in sales/revenue opportunities due to IT security breaches, and spent USD7.52 million to replace damaged hardware and corrupted computers,” says Goodwill.

He adds that businesses of all sizes should treat their company’s online security with the same level of importance as they do corporate governance and brand protection. On the technological front, Goodwill offers the following advice: “Start with the basics. Have strong password management, data encryption on company computers and make sure that you have up-to-date anti-malware software installed.”

Apart from the obvious benefits you’ll reap from having adequate IT security for your business, such as protecting your company’s valuable data from being stolen or exploited by cyber criminals and potentially saving you time and money, it will also provide you with peace of mind and leave you with more time to focus your attention on your company’s bottom line, Goodwill says. “That way, your employees will always have a well stocked kitchen at work.”

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Time for CIOs to change strategy in the fight against consumer technology

Shadow IT is simply not going away, says Sumash Singh, Country Manager at CommVault South Africa. Read More

Virtualisation in the age of smart data

Actifio solution strategist Gareth Donald discusses virtualisation in the age of smart data: the next frontier on the march to the cloud. Read More

SATA confers on customer service and billing

The Southern African Telecommunications Association (SATA) held a Customer Service, Quality of Service (Qos) and Billing Conference.  Read More

Study: Payments industry in flux

A new study indicates that cards will account for 273 billion transactions at a combined value of some US$30 trillion by 2018, but as mPOS grows, new forms of payment will flourish.  Read More

Nissan parades ‘ICT built’ brand in Malawi

Nissan has paraded its brand new 2015 y62 Patrol Ti series in Malawi, which is said to have taken advantage of ongoing ICT innovations and features built-in navigation and digital entertainment. Read More

Digital fuels growth in Africa’s entertainment and media industry: PwC report

African entertainment and media industry has entered a new landscape – one where the media is no longer divided into distinct traditional and digital spheres, according to a report from PwC. Read More

Deloitte unveils Tech Trends 2015

The sixth annual Deloitte Tech Trends report examining disruptive technologies with the best potential to impact businesses within the next 18 to 24 months, will be released in Johannesburg today. Read More

Microsoft promotes Africa’s innovators through DEMO Africa 2015

Using the Demo Africa platform as a veritable vehicle for the development of African innovators, Microsoft, under the 4Afrika Initiative, has confirmed its support for the upcoming DEMO Africa event in Lagos.  Read More

NITDA affirms confidence in DEMO Africa 2015

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has affirmed its confidence in the ability of the DEMO Africa forum to become the continent’s rallying ground to discover technology leaders and entrepreneurs. Read More

Alcatel-Lucent VP calls for collaboration to achieve Data Revolution in Africa

The Vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa, Daniel Jaeger, has reiterated the need for African stakeholders to work together to address challenges in the way of ICT development in Africa.  Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika


Connectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chiefConnectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chief

Connectivity is vital for any country to fully optimise the huge potential of cyberspace, SES Sales Manager for West Africa Joy Nma Emenike tells Kokumo Goodie.


High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.


Luba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3

Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.