Thanks to always-in-the-news CEOs like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, tech companies take up a lot of real estate in the national imagination. We see these larger-than-life figures disrupting the ways we shop, drive, buy — not to mention launching rockets into space — and can’t help but think of their industry as a realm where only giants may tread.

The reality, of course, is far different. Small businesses constitute 99.9% of all U.S. companies across industries — including tech. As I write this, I’m downtown in a mid-sized city situated in the heart of the midwest, and I can think of more than a dozen tech companies within a few blocks. They may not receive much media attention, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t successful.

Point being, tech companies come in all shapes and sizes (and places), just like in any other sector. And that means they face a range of industry challenges that extend well beyond the kinds of problems that Tesla and Amazon must contend with. The following are 4 stats that highlight a few of those challenges and that could help point the way toward solutions.

4 stats tech companies of all sizes should know

1. 4 in 10 tech companies have open positions and are actively recruiting.

The tech industry is hungry for talent, to the point that recruiters are having trouble filling positions. Some of the top reasons for this problem are ones you might expect to see in any industry: The need to compete with other companies for talent and rising salary expectations. Some factors, however, are industry specific. For instance, because innovation grows at such a rapid rate in the tech world, it can be hard to find expert candidates in an emerging field. And then there’s the fact that even if you’re able to find someone with the right technical knowledge, they might not have the appropriate soft skills, like communication. One solution to this problem is to source candidates from across the country and offer to cover relocation costs. Or, if you need a less expensive fix, you might try hiring remote workers.

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2. Only 6 in 10 small businesses consider their technology ROI good or excellent.

This one speaks to tech companies’ potential market, suggesting there’s untapped business among smaller companies who are unsatisfied with their current technology solutions. If your organization can prove its ability to boost ROI, winning over the 4 in 10 small businesses who are seeing less than stellar results should be no problem. Tech companies offering managed services could be especially well positioned to earn new business, as 61% of small businesses are not currently using managed services, despite the fact that some of the top reasons for tech ROI falling short — too much complexity, not enough staff time — could be easily solved by such a solution.

3. One-third of Millennials in tech-buying positions have sign-off on enterprise purchases of $10K or more.

When it comes to the generation that has the highest percentage of technology decision makers, Millennials beat out both Baby Boomers (23%) and Gen Xers (27%). And that means B2B tech marketers need to do as good of a job reaching this younger cohort as their B2C counterparts seem to — think personalized, multi-channel social campaigns. Old-school types might find it odd to advertise enterprise software on Facebook, but it’s anything but. After all, Millennials are “interested in leveraging today's tech to integrate work and life versus just balancing them.” For them, there isn’t a clear line where work ends and the rest of life begins.

4. Diversity efforts could bring the tech industry $400 billion in revenue each year.

While the tech industry has brought the world some amazing innovations, it hasn’t always been a model for diversity and inclusion. Compared to the rest of the private sector, there are half as many African Americans and Hispanics in tech, and 83% of tech executives are white. Thankfully, efforts at addressing this problem could see exponential levels of success. As CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux put it, “Financially a one percentage point move toward representative diversity leads to a three-point increase in revenue… Companies in the top quartile for ethnic and gender diversity are more likely to surpass industry norms for revenue and operating margin.” In other words, companies that invest in diversity efforts will have more money to reinvest, creating an expanding cycle of improvement.

Got any other interesting tech stats we should know about? Let us know in the comments!

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Strategy, Tech

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