SMEs are not taking full advantage of the total potential of their IT systems, a new report has said.Findings from research carried out by YouGov found that SME owners and managers still think they are spending too much time searching for files and fixing IT problems, instead of dealing with customers.However, the report did show that small businesses have embraced some of the potential advantages of IT. Only 18 per cent of SMEs did not have any web presence at all.Security is still seen as the biggest problem with internet and IT use. Two thirds of the businesses said that they had lost an average of £1,259 annually to security failures. Despite this, only about 20 per cent had installed even a basic firewall system onto their computers."With 74 per cent of small businesses managing their IT without specialist help, they need computer systems that are easy to use and manage," said Microsoft UK’s head of small and medium business, Scott Dodds.He continued: "It is encouraging to see that small businesses increasingly understand the value that IT can deliver. Now, we hope they will go one step further and explore how it can better support their business."However, earlier this week Mircosoft announced that they planed to crack down on SMEs who were using unlicensed copies of their software. The company announced that they would threaten companies with legal action from the Business Software Alliance if they refused to allow Microsoft to audit their software.Microsoft’s UK licensing programs manager, Ram Dhaliwal, explained to infoworld.com: "If they are using our software, we are simply going to ask them to pay for it."© Adfero Ltd

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