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.

The connection between managed services and SMB business and IT challenges

The subject of “IT/business alignment” has been a hot topic of debate for many years. Yet despite this interest, business and IT interests and objectives frequently diverge. To some extent, this is inevitable: the business is concerned with issues that extend beyond IT, and IT needs to manage issues that are (at least, as long as they are working) beneath the notice of most business professionals. However, today’s business environment is increasingly dependent on IT support, and IT products and services that improve productivity and efficiency or which expand market reach and potential. IT initiatives that can be linked meaningfully to broader business objectives are best positioned to attract corporate support – meaning that products and services that address key business priorities have the greatest potential for growth.

The Techaisle SMB survey, which captured the perspectives of both business decision makers (BDMs) and IT decision makers (ITDMs) in US SMBs ranging from 1-999 employees, looked at key business issues and in particular IT challenges. The list of the most important IT challenges faced by SMBs such as budget constraints and the need to control IT costs and improve justification for new IT investments are both tied to the goal of reducing operational cost, and effective maintenance of current IT infrastructure contributes to reduction in operational uncertainty, and thereby get linked to managed services.

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2017 Top 10 SMB and Midmarket Business Issues, IT Challenges, IT Priorities

They are here. Techaisle's annual SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges and Business Issues. This is the 5th year of Techaisle tracking at a WW level and is much sought after by IT vendors, channels and media. For 2017, Techaisle investigated 15 different technology areas, each with several sub-technology categories, 20 different IT challenges and 20 different business issues.

Click on the infographic images below to view and download your copy

When compared with 2016 the list for 2017 SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges and Business Issues reveals major changes – digitalization has become an IT priority and supporting digital marketing/workplace an IT challenge, improving workforce productivity as a business issue has catapulted to the top, enabling mobile workforce is among the top 3 IT challenges and Collaboration, Cloud, Mobility and Security are the IT priorities. Cloud orchestration has also appeared for the first time in the list of IT challenges as IT is finding it necessary to orchestrate across the entire enterprise to deliver business infrastructure via the cloud.

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Salesforce for SMBs – Advantages and Limitations

As part of SMB Compass Series, Techaisle has just released a free and detailed report on Salesforce for SMBs – Advantages, Limitations & Competitor comparisons. The report is focused on Salesforce solution portfolio for SMBs and acts as guidance for SMBs deciding to use CRM solutions and planning to use Salesforce solutions as well as competitor solutions. The report has been compiled based on deep discussions with SMBs using Salesforce, partners providing Salesforce implementation for SMBs and Techaisle global cloud surveys. The report covers Salesforce Cloud, SalesforceIQ, Salesforce Analytics Cloud, Salesfroce Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Salesforce has been leading the charge in cloud CRM and has been adding product offerings to its portfolio to provide end-to-end solution attracting, managing & retaining customers. Survey data also shows that within the US, Salesforce appears within top 10 cloud vendors as mentioned by SMBs. 

Click on the report cover image to download the report

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Table of Contents is given below

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Techaisle’s worldwide SMB & Midmarket cloud adoption surveys show that 38% of small businesses and 48% of midmarket firms are planning to use cloud CRM in the next 12 months. Data also shows that there is a very strong correlation between top business issues for 2017 and use of CRM. Within midmarket firms, improving effectiveness of sales & marketing is the second top business issue and fourth from the top for overall SMBs. In addition, attracting & retaining new customers /improving customer satisfaction is the 2nd most important business issue for SMBs.

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SMBs find that cloud addresses real-world business pressures

SMB Cloud is no longer a trend that is discrete from mainstream IT. Data presented in Techaisle’s cloud reports shows that cloud is viewed as an IT priority by 96% of US SMBs, by over 85% of European SMBs and nearly 65% of Asia/Pacific SMBs. Within Asia/Pacific if very small businesses are excluded then cloud as a priority jumps substantially. Cloud is not a future issue – it has become an essential component of SMB IT and is the new IT reality. Techaisle’s surveys of SMBs not only found a strong link between cloud and IT – it also found a strong link between cloud, IT and business success. The research data shows that technology is viewed as critical to the success of SMB businesses and that cloud provides a compelling response to SMB business issues and cloud also addresses constraints within the SMB market.

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SMBs are sometimes seen as small fish in a pond that is also home to much larger creatures. They are subject to tides and actions that tend to derail their businesses and are strongly felt: when business lags, when orders grow sparse, when supplier costs increase, when the competitive environment changes. Cloud offers direct relief for several of these business pressures.

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