Comparetheware.com is a resource that quickly provides IT information to businesses. GrowthBusiness.co.uk speaks to business manager Mike Worby about the service.
(1) What was your background before founding the business?
I have spent the last 15 years working for technology companies and during this time I have seen the IT selection and procurement process from all angles: user, supplier, manufacturer and distributor. My experience has given me a unique perspective on the challenges faced by organisations when sourcing new technologies.
(2) How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Despite the fact that there are many useful sources of information available to businesses, finding impartial advice on IT products and services is extremely difficult, making it hard to compare technologies and make an informed decision. With comparetheware.com we set out to create a resource that quickly provides the information businesses need when they have an IT requirement.
(3) What problem is it trying to solve?
IT is a critical part of almost every business, but it is also an extremely complex and time-consuming area, often requiring specialist skills and experience. Researching new requirements and connecting with accredited suppliers is a lengthy process that can often take valuable resource away from a company’s core business. comparetheware.com not only helps businesses search and evaluate products, it puts them in touch with experts who can help them implement their IT projects and provide ongoing advice and support, saving them time and money.
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(4) How big an issue is this for UK SMEs?
Making IT decisions can be challenging for any organisation, but especially so for smaller businesses where technical resource can be in short supply. A recent survey conducted on behalf of comparetheware.com showed that over half (56 per cent) of small business decisions relating to new IT requirements are made by company directors and owners. Not only is this group of people very time poor, they are also probably lacking in technical knowledge and expertise. This is where additional support is required to enable them to make an informed technology choice.
(5) Do you think that selecting the right technology is intimidating for most businesses?
Absolutely. There are more than 4,000 different technology manufacturers operating in the UK, and with so many new and emerging technologies, there is a real danger that the choice can feel overwhelming. Plus when you factor in the possible implications of making the wrong technology choice, each decision needs to be carefully considered.
(6) What are the three most important considerations to make when making a big technology decision?
Budget – Be open about the budget that you have available; there is nothing worse than spending time researching the perfect technology only to find it is out of reach financially.
Technology choice – When selecting a new technology the choice is vast, and, with so many options open to you, it is worthwhile shopping around to find the right fit. Invest time in evaluating new technologies so that you can test the technology for yourself to ensure it will meet all of your business’s requirements.
Supplier choice – Instead of looking for a company to sell you the product, start with a list of what your business needs from a supplier; for instance, does it have the necessary skills and experience, can it provide examples of previous installs, is it local (if that’s important to you).
(7) How will you be looking to grow your offering?
At comparetheware.com, our goal is to act as a central resource covering all areas of IT technology. As a result we are continually expanding the range of technologies, manufacturers and suppliers covered by our portal.