An article published on Computer Weekly's website caught my eye today, regarding computer support for London's SMEs.
"A national survey conducted by researchers from the School of Management at Royal Holloway University of London found government is failing to give IT advice to SMEs. As a result the businesses are not exploiting IT to its full potential, said the college."
Dr Romano Dyerson, a member of the college research team, said, "SMEs find themselves in a difficult situation, too small to employ a dedicated IT expert and lacking the resources to buy consultancy advice."
The college began a research project into the issue in 2007, and contacted over 500 SMEs in the food, clothing, manufacturing and financial services industries, with most companies having been established for at least five years.
While firms across all four sectors reported very high usage of email and internet, very few firms embraced the potential of the internet wholeheartedly and most did not use the internet to receive customers' orders or to order online.
"The survey finds that SMEs are poorly served by government and policy providers," said Dr Dyerson.
Now tell us something that we don't know! Our government doesn't seem to get its own IT advice right, let alone be able to advise others. HTL has been supporting the computing needs of SMEs for 10 years, and in all that time we haven't seen a useful government incentive. It's the reason so many companies like ours exist. Anyone feeling 'let down' but the lack of government advice shouldn't hesitate to contact us. Our advice is free and impartial and we have helped hundreds of small businesses to exploit IT to its full potential.