Less than half (46 per cent) of Britain's small business owners and managers are planning to spend more than £1,000 on information technology in the next 12 months,
Even so, 70 per cent of these small businesses see investment in technology as a positive step and a “tool that can be harnessed to perhaps improve their working environment.”
Bibby Financial Services, which conducted the survey, said this disparity could be due to the fact that many owners and managers are worried about losing the personal touch with their customers and suppliers as well as keeping up to date with the latest technological developments.
Over a quarter (28 per cent) of owner managers stated they would much prefer to spend their money on improving their plant and machinery or capital equipment rather than invest in expensive new IT systems.
A further 22 per cent would prefer to spend money on a sales and marketing drive, while 17 per cent would prefer to give themselves and their staff a much-needed pay rise.
David Robertson, chief executive of Bibby Financial Services said the findings should strike fear in the hearts of the technology sector which was struggling to maintain sales in the current volatile economic climate.
“Too often in small businesses up and down the country, investing in IT is seen as a ‘necessary evil’ and is a grudge rather than an important step in improving business operations and processes.
“Often new computers or software packages are bought reluctantly without any real commitment to exploiting their capital investment to the full.
“The result is valuable resources and money going down the drain and a vicious circle being created in which all IT expenditure is considered wasteful – it is therefore vital it is carefully thought out and researched before the business parts with any hard-earned cash,” he said.