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IT in Manufacturing Hit Hardest by Recession according to Effectiveness Index Survey

November 18, 2009 by  

Webmaster ToolboxHOUSTON – An ongoing survey of IT effectiveness for small and medium businesses has released preliminary analysis of how the recession has impacted IT projects in various industries. Survey results indicate the manufacturing industry has been hit hardest, with 66 percent of respondents delaying, halting or cancelling IT projects, and a like number reducing capital expenses during the past year. The Manufacturing industry is followed by Communications at 55 percent, Wholesale at 52 percent and Service Providers at 48 percent. The computer industry appears to be least affected among survey respondents, with only 33 percent indicating IT projects have been delayed or halted due to the recession.

The free IT Effectiveness Index (ITEI), www.iteffectivenessindex.com, provides an online benchmarking tool for small businesses to audit their IT effectiveness. Upon completing the ITEI survey, participants are automatically entered to win a Dell Netbook computer, and each receives a follow up email with peer comparisons based on their company size and industry.

According to the survey, 50 percent of Manufacturing industry respondents indicated they are understaffed or critically understaffed in their IT operations. In contrast, 33 percent of Service Providers said they were understaffed in IT, with only 24 percent of respondents in the computer industry.

“For SMBs, technology provides a key differentiator to support business growth,” said Steve Kahan, vice president of marketing and product management with The Planet, one of the consortium sponsors. “The results of the survey seem to indicate that capital expense budgets have been hit hard and adequate staffing of IT is a struggle in many industries.”

“While we are conducting ongoing analysis of the survey results, it appears that those hit hardest by reductions in IT capital expenditures are also those industries that show a shortage of IT staff,” said Ramon Ray, Technology Evangelist and Editor of SmallBizTechnology.com (http://smallbiztechnology.com). “We are encouraging every small to medium size business to take the survey and compare their grade for IT effectiveness with others in their industry.”

Consortium partners behind the index include Microsoft; HostSearch; Kennesaw State University; The Planet; SmallBizTechnology.com; SMB Nation; Small Business Trends; Small and Medium Business Technology Network; and Yankee Group.

The IT Effectiveness Index published a Mid-Year Report this past summer based on surveying hundreds of small businesses that indicates these companies are falling behind in IT effectiveness as economic pressures have forced nearly half of the respondents to reduce, delay or cancel critical IT investments. In January 2010, the ITEI Partners will publish the SMB IT Effectiveness Index Annual Report, which will be provided free-of-charge to survey participants.

About the ITEI
The IT Effectiveness Index is the first-ever benchmarking tool that measures the technology effectiveness of small- and medium-sized businesses throughout the world www.iteffectivenessindex.com.

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