February 17, 2009 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) A group of companies with a primary focus on small- and medium-sized businesses today announced the formation of the first industry coalition to measure the IT effectiveness of SMBs around the world. The Information Technology Effectiveness Index ITEI provides business owners and IT executives with a free online benchmarking tool that uses a methods-based framework to compare the effectiveness of their IT systems with companies in the same industries and peer groups (www.iteffectivenessindex.com
Participants who take the 12-question, 10-minute survey receive an immediate and confidential score, accompanied by a detailed report with consultative suggestions about how to improve their IT processes. In December, the ITEI Partners will publish the SMB IT Effectiveness Index Annual Report, which will be provided free-of-charge to survey participants.
Sponsors of the ITEI include HostSearch; Kennesaw State University
; Nine Lives Media Inc.
; The Planet
; Small Business Trends
; SMB Nation
; and Yankee Group
Technology is core to any business, and many SMBs lack the resources and market research to improve their effectiveness, said ITEI Partner Steve Kahan, who serves as vice president of marketing and product management with The Planet. The vast majority of research on IT best practices and security focuses on large enterprises. The ITEI, by contrast, has built benchmarks specifically for the SMB market that assess their IT processes, provide guidance on how to improve, and will monitor industry trends. Participants can leverage the aggregated data to evaluate how they compare with other companies and their industry peers.
Many IT frameworks are designed without constraints in mind, when in reality SMBs dont have the specialized resources or budgets to implement recommendations in-house, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage compared with large enterprises, said ITEI Partner Herb Mattord, CISSP and CISM, who serves as assistant professor with Kennesaw State University. The ITEI provides a tool that helps to isolate deficiencies and provides guidance on how to supplement existing resources, improve operations and reduce security risks.
During the year, ITEI Partners will issue periodic news as research trends emerge.
To participate in the survey or learn more about the participating partners, visit the ITEI Web site at www.iteffectivenessindex.com
The IT Effectiveness Index is the first-ever benchmarking tool that measures the technology effectiveness of small- and medium-sized businesses throughout the world: www.iteffectivenessindex.com. Spearheaded by companies with a core interest in the SMB market, the survey provides insight and counsel for improving business processes and IT effectiveness. Members of the consortium include the following companies: HostSearch (www.hostsearch.com); Kennesaw State University (www.kennesawstate.edu); Microsoft (www.microsoft.com); Nine Lives Media (www.ninelivesmediainc.com); The Planet (www.theplanet.com); SmallBizTechnology.com (www.smallbiztech.com); Small Business Trends (www.smallbiztrends.com); SMB Nation (www.smbnation.com) and Yankee Group (www.yankeegroup.com).