Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

SMB Productivity improvement: finding hard numbers in soft benefits

We know that productivity is a very important business goal for your organization. And that not only employee productivity but also group and organizational productivity is of importance. The IT industry is abuzz with discussion of how to improve productivity – and the number of suggestions is logarithmically proportional to the number of IT suppliers. But you need to find that trusted advisor, an unbiased supplier who can sift through the hype. We know that there is an ongoing change, a shift towards business value & employee empowerment. These refer to the new priorities among SMBs to invest in tools and technologies that allow their users to make better business decisions, improve market reaction time and better serve their customers. In other words, SMB firm leaders like yourself, are looking to improve return on Human Capital as a way forward.

Drilling down beyond the hype – how can you use technology to augment your organizations’ ability to compete tasks and decrease process friction?

Productivity

Techaisle found that SMB business leaders are believers in the connection between technology and productivity: 55% see “creating processes that constitute a better way of doing business” as a key benefit of IT, 57% credit IT with “facilitating better automation of core business processes,” just over half report that IT creates “better coordination across functional areas,” and an even 60% state simply that technology “improves employee productivity”.

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US SMB and Midmarket Orchestration and Integration trends

Techaisle latest research US SMB & Midmarket Orchestration, Automation & Integration trends shows that roughly two-thirds of midmarket firms are using or planning to use hybrid cloud and nearly 90% of midmarket firms using/planning to use hybrid consider orchestration tools to be “critical” or “very important”.

In today’s multi-platform world, orchestration, automation and integration are non-optional components of a functioning IT environment. The number of possible connections between systems and data sources expand logarithmically with each new platform; as IT workloads migrate (or are born) in new cloud, hosted, virtual or conventional systems, IT managers need to establish processes for connecting, balancing and optimizing systems that aren’t bottlenecked by requirements for operator intervention.

Despite the clear and immediate requirement for orchestration, automation and integration, there is little current and reliable data available on adoption and usage trends, especially within the small and midmarket business segment. To address this gap, Techaisle conducted a survey of 1,076 US-based SMBs, quota sampled to ensure statistically-reliable representation for two small business segments (20-49 and 50-99) and three midmarket segments (100-249, 250-499, 500-999). By applying attitudinal segmentation within each e-size category, capturing information on current cloud and digitalization status and probing for orchestration and automation plans and activities, Techaisle is able to deliver a unique perspective on the current state and directions of orchestration and automation within the US SMB & Midmarket.

Research presented in the report, which addresses the general topic of IT orchestration, is focused on three major issues:

  • Cloud workload orchestration: orchestrating workloads and associated processes across hybrid environments
  • Cloud application/data orchestration and integration: SMB requirements for services supporting hybrid business applications/processes
  • Supplier requirements, gaps and opportunities: market feedback and Techaisle evaluation of the offerings that will position suppliers as orchestration leaders in the SMB segment

Highlights from the findings presented in this report include:

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SMB and Midmarket IT maturity segments – cloud adoption challenges

Techaisle’s SMB & Midmarket IT maturity segmentation reveals that 52% of midmarket firms and 16% of small businesses (down from 31% two years ago) belong to Advanced IT segment and 37% of midmarket firms (up from 14% two years ago) and 0% of small businesses are in the Enterprise IT segment.

IT products are often described as having ‘a market’ – but ‘the’ IT market is comprised of many segments, each of which has its own approach to IT adoption. Some industry sectors (e.g., aerospace) tend to move faster than others (e.g., retail) and different countries and regions invest in new technologies at different rates. Until they are supplanted by new solutions, mature IT products are acquired at about the same rate by all buyers. These technologies generate the majority of ‘run rate’ revenue in the IT industry. When IT industry growth opportunities are discussed, the focus often turns to earlier-stage technologies. Sellers of these technologies tend to focus on advanced segments (large accounts, particularly in leading-edge industries). SMBs are generally viewed as a secondary market.

Four IT Maturity Segments

However, the SMB market is not a monolith. Techaisle research has identified four attitudinal/behavioral segments that have different approaches to IT adoption. Suppliers who understand the scope and characteristics of these segments are able to expand their target markets and develop strategies geared to reaching high-potential SMB prospects. These suppliers ultimately have access to an expanded TAM, and have the insight needed to align marketing investments with priority customers.

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Techaisle Take – HPE vs Dell SMB IT solution stack

Comparing Dell and HPE offerings and ecosystems against the Techaisle SMB IT solution stack model

Techaisle’s latest report is designed to help SMB buyers and suppliers identify IT stack requirements, and to compare the offerings and ecosystems of the two current market leaders, Dell and HPE, against Techaisle’s definition of essential SMB & midmarket business technologies. The report is structured in three parts:

  • The IT stack: the report begins by outlining the technologies that SMBs require – and require integration across – in order to support current and emerging business requirements
  • Vendor comparison: an evaluation of Dell and HPE offerings, including core products, non-core products and partner-delivered capabilities, against the stack requirements
  • Evaluating stack suppliers: advice on how to use the stack comparison, and additional Techaisle research findings, to evaluate Dell and HPE strengths
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