By Daniel Hunter

As many as 91%, or 4.6 million, small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are struggling to introduce new technologies to their organisation, with only one in 10 confirming that this can be done without challenges, according to new data from Solar Communications.

The research, carried out among IT decision makers in UK SMEs, also reveals one in three SMEs (32%) are facing issues with meeting the technology needs of the workforce. Simplifying IT and operations is also a problem for 34% of SMEs, with other IT-related issues including having to juggle multiple suppliers and having numerous points of contact for billing or support.

Looking at wider business issues, SMEs cited competitive advantage, reducing operating costs and managing a more mobile workforce as primary challenges. More than half (52%) struggle with competing with larger organisations and reducing operating costs is a challenge for 45% of SMEs. Managing a more flexible and mobile workforce was a problem cited by 40% of business decision makers.

Mark Colquhoun, CEO of Solar Communications, said: “The research suggests that many UK SMEs are finding technology to be a challenge for their business, rather than a real enabler. The increasingly complex nature of today’s technology environments is presenting issues to today’s SMEs, with multiple suppliers, technologies and points of contact to manage. A strategic partnership with a single supplier can deliver significant benefits, reducing administrative workloads to improve efficiency and business agility in order to create competitive advantage in the market.”