Techaisle’s SMB Virtualization Adoption Trends and SMB Converged Infrastructure Adoption Trends studies show that virtualization and converged infrastructure are poised for strong growth in 2015 within the US SMB market because they both address specific high-priority IT and SMB business issues. SMBs have a clear need to reduce costs and improve efficiency of back-end infrastructure and to establish better control over mobile resources. Virtualization helps accomplish both of these goals and converged infrastructure provides a platform that sophisticated SMB users are already finding compelling.

Server virtualization: the thin edge of the wedge?
Sever virtualization is not the only virtualization option available to SMBs, client virtualization technologies VDI and DaaS are also increasingly prominent in SMB IT strategies. However, VDI and DaaS should not be seen simply as “next steps in virtualization.” Like server virtualization, VDI and DaaS address key SMB corporate issues – but they are different issues - support for mobility solutions and improving productivity rather than cost control.

Use of server virtualization is widespread in the small business (1-99 employees) market and nearly universal within midmarket businesses (100-999 employees). Suppliers targeting high-potential server virtualization accounts in the 1-99 employee segment are urged to use Techaisle’s IT Sophistication segmentation to identify “Advanced IT” organizations, which are far more likely to be using server virtualization than their “Pre IT” or “Basic IT” peers. IT companies are also urged to cultivate relationships with firms that host servers for SMBs, as the growth of virtualization in hosted environments is far higher than growth in on-premise use of virtualized servers.

VDI and DaaS adoption well suited for SMBs?
Techaisle's survey trend data of the last three years shows that VDI and DaaS adoption is now being driven by increased awareness of the need to effectively manage mobile resources and is no longer tightly tied to the desire to provide anywhere/any device access to apps, which may have become an expected feature rather than a distinguishing characteristic of VDI/DaaS over the past years. Data suggests that hosted solutions, which reduce barriers associated with complexity, management and investment, will have particular appeal in the small business segment.

Converged Infrastructure - poised for growth – at the expense of traditional servers?
Converged infrastructure is on a high-growth trajectory. In Techaisle’s opinion, converged infrastructure adoption is displacing pedestal/rack technologies rather than opening net-new opportunities, meaning that current incumbents are at risk from a core technology change. In addition to using converged infrastructure as a physical platform for virtualization, SMB buyers are adopting converged infrastructure to support data center consolidation and data migration, and as a platform for Big Data, unified communications or SharePoint. Cisco is very well positioned in the converged infrastructure market, as a brand, as a consequence of the success of VCE, and also because survey data shows that network team is frequently responsible (as opposed to server team) for deploying and monitoring converged infrastructure systems. As with server virtualization (and DaaS), suppliers targeting the SMB market for converged infrastructure are urged to take advantage of Techaisle’s IT Sophistication segmentation.

Table of Contents of SMB Virtualization Adoption Trends report is here
Table of Contents of SMB Converged Infrastructure Adoption Trends report is here