New Report Finds 80% of Small to Medium-Sized Businesses Say Cybercrime Is a Greater Threat Today than in the Past Year

Seventy-six percent consider the cloud a safe alternative to on-premise storage, up from 71% in 2019

ECI Software Solutions, a leader in cloud-based business management solutions, today released its 2021 State of SMB Digital Transformation report. The report details the findings from an independent survey commissioned by ECI examining how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are leveraging technology to respond to the various threats from the past yearincluding cybercrimewhile laying the groundwork for not only a post-pandemic economy but a more secure, resilient future.

SMBs ranked cybercrime as one of the top five threats their businesses face. Given the number of recent high-profile cyberattacks, it’s clear that cybersecurity vulnerability will continue to threaten business resilience as the market moves toward post-pandemic recovery. According to the results, 80% of SMBs believe cybercrime is a greater threat than in the past and 74% have updated their security software to ensure their company doesn’t fall victim to a cyberattack.

For those that have suffered from a cyberattack, 90% report the attack impacted their business; 48% were forced to shut down operations for at least a day, 35% shut down for a week and 41% lost money. Twenty-six percent of respondents say they still have not fully recovered from their cyberattack.

To protect themselves, 76% of SMBs believe the cloud is a safe alternative to storing data on premise. Nearly half of SMB respondents are taking action and turning to the cloud as a cybersecurity measure, with 85% stating that their core business solutions—like enterprise resource planning (ERP)—are at least partially on the cloud.

While many organizations have taken strides and put best practices in place, many still doubt whether these measures are enough. Seventy-seven percent of SMB respondents believe their organization is doing everything it can to remain safe—yet 59% still think they’re at risk.

“SMBs don’t have it easy today. On top of the challenges created by the pandemic, the high profile cyberattacks on airlines, Colonial Pipeline and even NATO show that every organization is vulnerable,” said Trevor Gruenewald, CEO of ECI Software Solutions. “By working with technology partners like ECI, SMBs can further identify the risk and work together to make the investments that will help them focus on getting business done rather than looking over their shoulder for the next crisis.”

Other key findings include:

  • · Technology adoption doubled in order to better manage business threats: Sixty-four percent of SMBs increased their technology investments in the nine months prior to and including Q1 2021, compared to only 32% in 2019, doubling the number of SMBs focused on growing their tech stacks.
  • · ERP emerges as an essential solution for SMBs: For businesses that use it, ERP has emerged as an essential resource during these difficult times. Seventy-five percent of respondents say that ERP was either effective or very effective in helping them manage the impacts of the pandemic.
  • Cloud-enabled ERP helps with post-pandemic recovery: Despite being a longtime cornerstone for SMBs, ERP is far from a legacy product. Eighty-five percent of respondents report that their ERPs are wholly (35%) or partially (50%) in the cloud. The top benefit of a cloud-based ERP is improved data access from anywhere at any time (59%), followed closely by improved data security (57%), increased flexibility (57%) and improved productivity (56%). Again, each of these benefits is crucial in building a more resilient business for the post-pandemic economy.

The full industry report is now available for download on the ECI website here.

Survey Methodology

As commissioned by ECI Software Solutions, Researchscape surveyed 500 SMB IT decision-makers across the manufacturing, lumber and building materials (LBM), wholesale/retail, residential home construction and field services verticals in March 2021, asking questions about the prior 12 months, and compared those results to a previous State of U.S. SMB Digital Transformation survey, which covered November 2018-November 2019.

About ECI

ECI Software Solutions provides industry-specific business software solutions and services, focusing on cloud-based technologies. For 30+ years, ECI has served small to medium-sized manufacturing, wholesale/retail distribution, building and construction and field service organizations. Privately held, ECI is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, with offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Norway, and Australia. For information, email, visit or call (800) 959-3367.

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