HP Survey Identifies Top Technology Concerns of SMBs

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are over reliant on consumer technology that isn’t designed for their needs, they struggle to implement technology throughout their business, particularly for mobility; and they have a casual attitude towards security that could open them up to threats. That’s what we heard in a recent survey of 750 small and mid-sized business[i]. We conducted the survey this summer in preparation for today’s announcement of HP Pro 400 Series PCs and HP LaserJet Pro 400 Series printers – and the results highlighted challenges that are unique to what SMBs experience.

 

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Let’s start with the reliance on consumer technology. The issue here is really the absence of an IT professional – according to our survey, 72 percent of small businesses and 51 percent of medium-sized businesses leave IT decision making to either the business owner or employees. As a result, SMBs will often turn to retail consumer devices that are not designed to operate in heavy-use environments and often don’t come with business-class features such as manageability and security tools.

 

Another reason SMBs turn to consumer-class technology is a perception of lower price. But when you figure in the long-term savings that can be made by having a more secure, more durable business-class device, consumer devices can be falsely economic.

 

We’re helping to address these issues in a couple of ways. Firstly, we designed our entire Pro 400 Series PCs and LaserJet Pro 400 Series printers with SMBs in mind, making them an easy choice even for businesses without an IT professional. For businesses that need speed and agility, the new HP LaserJet 400 series printers deliver the fastest first page out, fastest two-sided printing, and lowest energy consumption in their class[ii], [iii]. The new PCs are not only affordable, but offer a ton of flexibility to configure and upgrade as your business and IT budgets grow.

 

Secondly, we created HP Subscription[iv]. This is a new way for SMBs to get that new-tech smell every 2-3 years at a low monthly cost. You can get everything in one package – PCs, workstations, laptops, tablets and printers PLUS the latest software from Norton™ and Microsoft™ and world-class services and support – all without the upfront cost.

 

Let’s talk about productivity and the challenge to implement technology throughout your business. Nearly half of SMBs we surveyed (41 percent) told us they lack adequate technology to allow employees to remain productive on the go. Even more (52 percent of small businesses and 48 percent of medium-sized businesses) told us that when their employees are working offsite, they can’t print from their mobile device. The kicker here is that enabling this functionality can be easy – and it’s a cost-effective way to maintain employee efficiency while on the go. The new LaserJet Pro 400 Series printers have easy-to-use mobile capabilities built-in[v], [vi], [vii].

 

Most surprisingly, while our survey showed that while security is a top concern for SMB IT decision makers, only 23 percent of small businesses and 35 percent of medium-sized businesses are planning to invest in security solutions within the next two years. For businesses, the threat of a network breach has never been higher. Cyber criminals have created a new marketplace to collaborate and innovate against us, costing many businesses millions of dollars every year. And while the landscape of attacks is increasingly broad, more than half of all security issues are the result of insecure client-side operations and old technology that is especially vulnerable[viii]. And Symantec’s 2015 Internet Security Threat Report noted the increase of attacks on SMBs is growing at a rate much higher than enterprise organizations[ix].

 

Investing in device security and the management of those devices can make a huge difference in the protection of your business’s assets now and in the future. The new LaserJet Pro 400 Series printers offer built in features to help SMBs secure their print environment, such as secure boot and job storage with PIN printing, and our entire line-up of Pro 400 Series PCs includes HP Client Security and BIOS-level protection with HP BIOSphere. And HP recently launched a cloud-based IT management tool designed for SMBs called HP Touchpoint Manager[x] that can manage and secure your fleet of devices and data for one low price per month. You can check out this great tool by registering for a free trial here.

 

HP has also developed an online portal called HP BusinessNow designed to help SMBs grow their businesses with access to customer support and expert advice from HP’s partner network. For information on how you can leverage HP technology solutions for SMBs, visit the HP BusinessNow website.

 

So, what about your business? How are you addressing these issues? Do you have the resources to deploy technology for your mobile workers? Do you have a plan to invest more in security? Visit the HP website for more information about the new HP printers and PCs that will help power your business.

 

For more information on HP’s Pro Series of PCs, visit www.hp.com/go/newstyleit; and for the new HP Pro Series of LaserJets, visit: www.hp.com/go/newlaserjets.

 

[i] The HP BusinessNow survey – including the methodology, data collection and analysis, was conducted by Penton Research on behalf of HP. Data was collected from 751 respondents in the U.S. between June 19-July 1, 2015.

[ii] Based on HP internal testing of top three leading competitors’ first page out and duplex print speed completed 8/2015. Subject to device settings. Actual results may vary. For details see hp.com/go/ljclaims.

[iii] Based on HP testing using the ENERGY STAR® program’s Typical Electricity Consumption (TEC) method or as reported in energystar.gov of top three leading competitors as of 8/2015. Actual results may vary. For details see hp.com/go/ljclaims.

[iv] Financing and service offerings available through Hewlett-Packard Financial Services Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively HPFSC) in certain countries and is subject to credit approval and execution of standard HPFSC documentation. Subscriptions to use are available for 24 or 36 month terms. Rates and terms are based on customer’s credit rating, offering types, services and/or equipment type and options. Not all customers may qualify. Not all services or offers are available in all countries. Other restrictions may apply. HPFSC reserves the right to change or cancel this program at any time without notice.

[v] Wireless operations are compatible with 2.4 GHz operations only. App or software and HP ePrint account registration may also be required. Some features require purchase of an optional accessory. Learn more at hp.com/go/mobileprinting.

[vi] Requires a compatible NFC-printing-enabled mobile device. For a list of compatible NFC-printing-enabled mobile devices, see hp.com/go/nfcprinting.

[vii] HP JetAdvantage Private Print is available at no charge and requires that the printer be connected to the Internet with web services enabled. Not available in all countries. For more information, see hpjetadvantage.com.

[viii] HP Security Research (HPSR independent company) report.

[ix] Symantec 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 20. Reference to distribution and risk ratio of spear-phishing attacks by organization size.

[x] HP Touchpoint Manager requires purchase of a subscription and supports Android™, iOS and Windows 7 or higher operating systems and PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones from various manufacturers. Not available in all countries see www.hp.com/touchpoint for availability information.

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