Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) struggle to find an IT service provider who understands their challenges and delivers affordable solutions, according to the finding of a market survey.
The challenges faced by the SMEs are often the result of complex servicing by IT (information technology) service providers.
The dipstick survey revealed that SMEs struggle to find an IT service provider who understands their challenges and delivers affordable solutions.
The survey was conducted by Dubai-based Media Solutions, which focuses on media, television and information technology services and products to businesses throughout the UAE.
Altaf Alimohamed, Managing Director, Media Solutions, said the standard IT products and services available in the market do not work well for organisations with between five and 35 employees. This is due to the high IT investment and resource requirements, he said.
"SMEs particularly have limited budgets and resources to hire and use the entire range of skill-sets they need to manage their IT systems," said Alimohamed.
He stressed the need for integrated seamless solutions that meet the specific requirements of SMEs.
"Indeed, every company's needs are different and information technology is a vast domain and that's why the IT service sector must place a very high value on accurate counsel to SME owners.
"Services must begin with a complete evaluation that gets under the bonnet of the business structure and get as "hands on" as we possibly can," he said.
Alimohamed said that the SME segment continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UAE and contributes to more than 30 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
"IT infrastructure are essential to operate effectively and profitably but supporting and maintaining the hardware, software and networks can be a very difficult task for a small company," said Alimohamed.
He said Software as a Service (SaaS) is a new approach in IT enabling.
It ensures the cost-effective, efficient deployment of IT solutions for compact and nimble organisation.
Alimohamed said globally, SaaS will deliver more than 30 per cent of new software usage by 2010.
"E-enablement should be a reality for smart business managers, but the rapid pace of technological advancement is in danger of bringing disablement in its wake. SaaS provides a smart, efficient affordable solution to the IT woes of businesses," he said.