Benchmark: Small-Company Technology Use
Computer technologies and the percentage of small companies that use them
Desktop computers 82%
Local- or wide-area networks 37%
Technology services, such as consulting and maintenance 37%
Midrange computers 26%
Mainframe computers 19%
None of the above 3%
With all the hype surrounding new technology, it's often hard to get a handle on what other small companies actually own, as opposed to what manufacturers would like to sell them. That's why we found the above IBM-funded survey of 514 executives of small and midsize companies helpful. Although many of the companies surveyed are fairly substantial in size -- they ranged from $5 million to $99 million in annual sales -- the only truly pervasive technology was ordinary desktop computers; the majority of businesses did not, for example, have local- or wide-area networks.
Most of the companies have been using their technologies for a while. Mainframes had been in place for an average of 7.5 years, while most of the other applications were introduced to the businesses 6 or 7 years earlier. Only local- and wide-area networks were significantly newer, with a mean age of 3.7 years.
Source: "Business Technology and the Information Highway: A Survey of Small Business Executives," conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide, New York City, for IBM, White Plains, N.Y., January 1994.* * *