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2018 Top 10 SMB and Midmarket Business Issues and IT Challenges and IT Priorities

They are here - Techaisle's annual SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges and Business Issues infographics. This is the 7th year of Techaisle tracking at a WW level and is much sought after by IT vendors, channels and media. There is an ongoing trend – in both the buy-side and supplier communities – towards positioning IT initiatives and expenditures in a business context.

To help readers connect positioning with core market drivers, Techaisle research provides insight into the most pressing business issues, IT priorities and IT challenges faced by small (1-99 employees) and midmarket (100-999 employees) businesses in 2018.

For 2018, Techaisle investigated 21 different technology areas, each with several sub-technology categories, 24 different IT challenges and 24 different business issues. At the request of our clients, this year, not only are we releasing data & infographics (shown below) as usual for SMBs (1-999 employee segment), Midmarket (100-999 employee segment) but also for Small businesses (1-99 employee segment).

In 2018, the new and upcoming IT Priorities within SMBs are Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) and Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Within midmarket firms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) appears for the first time for 2018. Workplace transformation is one of the new top IT challenges for SMBs – number 1 on the list for midmarket firms and overall at number six across all SMBs. This obviously points to a need for unified workspace experience. In addition, Cloud orchestration and integration are among the top five key IT challenges for both SMBs and midmarket firms.

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Dell PCaaS offering differentiating itself with VMware integration

It is understandable that Dell’s PC-as-a-Service offering’s initial target segment is 500+ PC organizations which have sophisticated PC life cycle needs. However, judging by the number of inquiries Techaisle is getting in addition to its most recent survey, there is an untapped potential within the SMB and specifically midmarket segment. If 500+ PC is the cut-off then only 9% of US midmarket firms would qualify. If the threshold is lowered to 250+ PCs then 32% of US midmarket firms would open up as potential target segment. Stretching the statistics to 100+ PCs threshold, the total available market suddenly jumps to 56%. Midmarket is a huge opportunity, and the good thing with midmarket is that it is a whole lot less painful to move 250 to 500 PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10 than it is to move 150,000. And they are less likely to be having a heterogenous PC environment.

Techaisle research shows that there are three key factors that make PCaaS a compelling value proposition for the midmarket firms.

  1. Alignment with financial objectives with access to latest & advanced PC devices
  2. Access to needed support services freeing up internal IT
  3. Providing better control and manageability

A fourth point key point (a kicker and a key Dell differentiator) is added because of Dell and VMware becoming one company. Techaisle study shows that most midmarket firms are not yet aware about integration with VMware Workspace ONE, an integrated platform powered by VMware AirWatch and its inherent advantages. Because Dell and VMware are one company, Dell has been able to integrate AirWatch, a unified endpoint management technology, and the Dell Client Command Suite and extend PC management capability all the way down into the firmware and BIOS level of Dell PCs. This easily enables a single pane of glass through which IT can push policies, apps, lock-down, wipe and back up data.

Let us drill down into each value proposition and how Dell Technologies is differentiating itself.

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Techaisle survey shows US SMB PC-as-a-Service market needs serious attention

Techaisle’s survey of 1127 US SMBs, analyzed in the report US SMB & Midmarket PCaaS (PC-as-a-Service) Adoption Trends, shows that the market for PCaaS is currently at an early stage – but there is a market. The total proportion of PCs that are provisioned/delivered via PCaaS is still relatively small, but this is not a pure development market – an adoption beachhead has been established. Surevy shows that the ‘big three’ drivers of PCaaS for SMBs are cost 1/ predictability, 2/ a streamlined process for new asset procurement and 3/ the ability to accelerate PC refresh.

Roughly one-third of small (1-99 employees) businesses, and nearly 60% of midmarket (100-999 employees) firms, are aware of PCaaS as an option. This creates a sizeable potential market of potential buyers with at least some understanding of the offering. Most of these small businesses and about two-thirds of the midmarket organizations that are aware of PCaaS report plans to adopt the technology. Adoption intent increases with buyer sophistication.

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Techaisle survey shows Customer-focused Cloud applications top SMB SaaS list

The data contained in Techaisle’s recent detailed survey, US SMB & Midmarket SaaS Adoption Trends, covering over 2500 responses, with a margin of error of +/- 1.94% at 95% confidence level, paints a fascinating picture of the sea change that is occurring within SMBs, and which is reflected in SaaS adoption patterns.

Techaisle was the first to highlight and has very well documented the role of SaaS as a deepening force within SMBs. Latest survey builds on the argument and shows that Customer-focused SaaS applications are at the top of the SMB SaaS list with 76% of US SMBs planning to adopt one or more customer cloud applications in the next one year. This is line with the four pillars of midmarket digital transformation identified by Techaisle. Customer intimacy is one of the pillars.

The vision of customer-centric business has long been beyond most organizations’ operational capabilities (hence, customer segments rather than customer activities), but with increased data/intelligence and the vastly lower cost of processing, storage and applications afforded by cloud, it is becoming more attainable.

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