News the other day that the IceLab, part of Auckland incubator The Icehouse is conducting a survey looking at the IT decision made by SMEs in New Zealand.

I’ve long been adamant that SMEs in this country share common issues – that age-old saying of "working in the business not on the business", the inability to invest time and money on leading edge technology, the lack of external advice and support.

I’d hazard a guess at some of the findings the survey will come up with;

  • SMEs want to invest in technology but are confused by all the conflicting information they come across
  • New offerings bring a level of functionality into the budget constraints of SMEs that they’ve never had before
  • SMEs need a simple, aggregative source for their IT requirements, a one-stop-shop for advice, implementation, migration and integration
  • The place SMEs seek advice about this sort of stuff? Trusted peers

All familiar themes to readers of this blog.

My 15 or so years in business has seen me grow more and more disillusioned with the traditional advisory channels, the message that IT vendors are giving their potential customers and the lack of on place to find stuff out in a neutral and independent way.

Things however are changing out there – in the past few days I’ve been talking with some cool people who are looking to subvert the way business advice is done in this country, and my own project, seeking to build a community of interest for SMEs – is nearing the end of its gestation period.

So watch this space for the changes ahead, and I’ll be interested to read the results of the Icelab survey – I’ll report here how close I was in my predictions!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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