3 Core Tech Trends Driving Growth & Development for SMBs

  • April 2, 2015
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Each year, the SMB Group, a research firm that focuses on analyzing the highly fragmented small to mid-size business (SMB) market, presents its view of the top tech trends for the coming year.

According to the group’s latest report, “SMBs increasingly view technology as a key business enabler.” More than two-thirds (67%) of small businesses (1–99 employees) and 81% of medium businesses (100–999 employees) the organization surveyed said technology solutions “help them improve business outcomes or run the business better.”

Here are three core trends identified by the recent SMB Group study that illustrate how SMBs will use technology to grow and develop in 2015 and beyond:

  • SMBs use the Cloud as IT infrastructure – Nine of 10 SMBs use at least one cloud business solution today, and most of those companies (87%) use at least one cloud infrastructure solution. The growth of cloud applications will continue to climb in 2015, as SMBs deploy cloud solutions that not only support existing business models, but also enable them to develop innovative new products, services and business models. Adoption of multiple cloud deployment models will continue to spread, with particular growth among medium businesses embracing a hybrid cloud approach.
  • SMBs are spending more and more on Mobility – Sixty percent of respondents to the SMB Group survey said mobile solutions are critical to their business, with 86% agreeing or strongly agreeing that mobile apps are a complement to traditional business In fact, 71% believe that mobile apps will replace some traditional solutions entirely. SMB median spending on mobile technology and solutions as a percentage of total technology spending rose from roughly 12% in 2013 to 16% in 2014. And while mobile service and device costs still account for the bulk of SMB mobile budgets, SMB spending in other areas is rising as a percentage of mobile spend. On average last year, SMBs spent 11% of their mobile dollars on apps, 9% on security, 11% on mobile management and 8% on consulting.
  • SMBs will invest more and more in Security – While SMBs already use basic security and backup tools, SMB Group’s research indicates most use point solutions that only address some of the threats. The use of comprehensive solutions to protect and manage data still remains far from the norm. “But greater reliance on technology, an increasing number of ‘moving parts’ (traditional apps and infrastructure, cloud, social, mobile, etc.) and the need to manage data no matter where it resides necessitate better security, control and management capabilities,” the firm’s recent report explains. As awareness of the risks and consequences of incomplete security rises, SMBs will seek more comprehensive solutions that offer “proactive guidance, deeper expertise, stronger service-level agreements (SLAs) and 24/7 support for an always-on world” – and be willing to pay more for them.

In addition to highlighting key trends, the SMB Group report also observed: “…Most SMBs don’t have the resources necessary to keep pace with technology on their own. Just 19% of small businesses employ full-time dedicated IT staff. And while 86% of medium businesses have internal IT staff, they are typically IT generalists who lack expertise in newer technology areas….” These statistics underline the important role IT Managed Service Providers (IT MSPs) will play in the continuing growth and developed of SMBs. To learn more about the valuable contributions of MSPs, peruse the Managed Services section of ITinflections.

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