Small Firm CEOs Think IT is Key

Also bucking the results of the Forrester study is CEO Eb Moore of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston, a Raleigh, N.C.-based real estate agency with 13 offices and over $3 billion in sales.

For Moore, technology is not only fascinating, it is essential to reaching his customers since 84% of all home-buyers today start their search online.

“Do we depend on it for our success?,” said Moore. “The answer is absolutely.”

While the primary technology is email and Internet marketing, Moore also sees the advances in mobile technology as critical to his agents doing more, more effectively; especially if they could work as insurance adjusters do, from their cars.

When thinking about technology, Moore includes Blackberries, cell phones, laptops, GPS, printers and, one day, computer terminals built right into his agent’s cars, as a whole. To him, IT just one big business enabler.

“For us, we’ve just realized its going to be a way of doing business for the rest of our business lives,” mused Moore. “And quite honestly, it’s one exciting journey.”

While this may not be the view shared by his bigger-business brethren, it does seem clear that small businesses are excited by the capabilities technology provides and are looking to technology to move their business forward in ways that only a few short years ago would have been unthinkable.

Forrester’s Orlov agrees. Now is not the time to be pushing IT off to the side, it is the time to embrace it, shake it, and see what it can do — regardless of your company’s size.

“(Technology) may be better in the future but right now it’s as good as it gets,” she said. “So, now is not the time for a hunkered-down, risk-adverse IT any more than it is for a technology ignorant CEO.”