Computer technologies and the percentage of small companies that use them

Desktop computers 82%

Workstations 51%

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.

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