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Making the most from IT investment as critical to European SMEs this year as finding new talent

  • But a significant percentage of those responsible for IT admit they don’t know enough about cloud or IT security to make the right decisions for their business
  • Almost one third of European firms believe lack of technology integration and complexity of systems means they don’t make the most of their investment in IT

As the economic climate has shifted from growth to consolidation, making the most of investments in IT over the last few years is ranked as highly by European small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as finding new talent, according to new pan European data. However, the research commissioned by Sharp Europe, a major provider of business technology products and services to small and medium enterprises across Europe, also found that a significant majority of those responsible for IT admit they do not possess enough knowledge to make this happen.

The pan-European research surveyed 5,770 professionals, responsible for purchasing IT in their SMEs, on confidence in IT capabilities and barriers to IT investment over the next 12 months. It found that leveraging investment ranks the same as finding new talent and managing diverse hybrid workforces in 2023, falling just behind concerns around overall increased costs to businesses.

However, many businesses lack the right knowledge to take advantage of investments they have made with over 62% admitting they don’t know enough about critical areas such as hardware specifications and cloud computing. A similar amount feel they don’t have enough knowledge about IT security (59%). 

Additionally, they say that a lack of integration with other systems (30%) and overly complicated software and systems (30%) are barriers prohibiting their organisation from making the most of IT.

Over half (52%) believe this is because they were poorly advised from the beginning and didn’t have good enough ongoing advice and support. In addition, almost a third of businesses believe that a lack of employee understanding (31%) holds them back. Only half (52%) of SMEs in Europe currently have a person responsible for IT internally.

Colin Blumenthal, European Vice President, IT Services at Sharp Europe, comments: 

“In a challenging economic climate, smaller businesses are focusing on efficiency, productivity, profitability, and getting the right value from investments they are about to make or have already made.  But with technology continuously evolving and becoming more complex, sometimes that isn’t as easy as it might sound. Given this, expert advice should always be sought to ensure the right decisions are being made, particularly as SMEs across different industries will have specific needs.”

For more insights and advice on how to make the most of your IT investment, please visit:

Notes to editor

The research was conducted by Censuswide between 1st February 2023-13th February 2023 and responded to by 5,5770 IT decision makers and people responsible for purchasing IT within SMEs, from 11 countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.  

About Sharp Europe
Sharp Europe enables small to large enterprises and organisations to enhance performance and adapt for their workplaces of the future through a range of business technology products and services. 

Headquartered in London, Sharp Europe serves customers in the private and public sectors, Education and Government, a portfolio ranging from printers and advanced flat screen technologies, collaboration platforms, through to IT services

As part of Sharp Corporation, and with the backing of Foxconn, Sharp Europe is investing and leading the industry in new areas of technology that have the potential to change the world. It developed the world’s first commercially available 8K monitor and in 2019 launched the world’s first certified Windows collaboration display.

To find out more about how Sharp Europe is changing the future of work, please visit