A recent study by CompTIA found that the rapid evolution of technology has created IT skillset challenges for business owners that don't have time to keep up with technology advancements.

Small business owners -- those who often wear multiple hats, acting as business visionary, owner, IT support and marketing/sales specialist, to name a few -- are particularly susceptible to the challenges these rapid advances in technology create.

"Even as the importance of technology to business success grows exponentially, few [businesses] are exactly or even very close to where they want to be with technology utilization and staff skill levels,” CompTIA skill certification vice president Terry Erdle said. “These gaps are hampering business success."

To help address this problem and save money, many small business owners are looking to cloud technologies such as online fax and , which help cut down on the need for in-house IT services,staff and training.

For example, outsourcing fax services to a cloud provider eliminates the need for a fax machine and costly dedicated phone line. Faxes are delivered by email - to a PC, smart phone or desktop computer.

Cloud fax providers like eFax that offer mobile apps allow a business owner to snap a document with a device's built in camera (including mobile phones and the iPad) and fax the document directly from the device. Additionally, the eFax mobile app's digitized signature capability allows documents such as contracts to be signed and sent directly from the mobile device, including Android, Apple and BlackBerry platforms.

Leveraging cloud technologies such as online fax and voice services reduces the need to upgrade and manage internal technologies, and, in doing so, reduces the need for IT support and training. The ComTia report shows that IT inexperience has caused productivity reductions in 41 percent of survey respondents, while an additional 31percent said their data security was weakened.

As mobility becomes more important for companies today, cloud services provide a welcome relief from the current strain on IT. And, more small businesses are adapting to the transition to mobile. According to a separate CompTIA report , more than 40 percent of survey respondents said they have a formal mobile policy in place.


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