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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.

For SMBs Connected Cloud SaaS applications really matter

Techaisle’s upcoming detailed survey report on US SMB & Midmarket SaaS Adoption Trends shows evidence that connected cloud applications really matter for SMBs. 16% of SMBs have already connected SaaS applications across the enterprise and another 10% are on their enterprise-wide connected SaaS journey. These SMBs are getting the benefits of business growth, enterprise agility, corporate efficiency, collaboration and alignment.

Cloud is the agility platform and SaaS offers a zero-friction option for automating processes. The first entry point to cloud in many SMBs is the purchase of a specific business application by a business user. A typical example is of SMB marketing acquiring a SaaS application to help with social presence management, or sales, as is often the case, acquiring a cloud based CRM to track opportunities. Each of these disconnected siloed SaaS applications do provide real & immediate benefits in terms of enhancing individual productivity and enhancing morale and helping with recruitment of tech savvy new workers. However, where cloud starts to differentiate itself and create meaningful impact for SMBs is in connected automation across related activities and applications categories.

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US enterprise Cloud survey shows shifting strategies

Techaisle’s US Enterprise Cloud survey conducted with senior IT decision makers shows that Cloud actually opens the doors to increased IT investment. For all the trepidation about the negative impact of cloud on IT budget and authority, data from the Techaisle US upper-midmarket/enterprise (1,000 employees to 10,000 employees) cloud survey indicates that advanced use of cloud actually drives higher IT spending. In 92% of US enterprises, IT has a voice on the board and helps drive the direction of the business rather than business deciding IT needs. There is also a great deal of near-term opportunity for a variety of SaaS providers in the US enterprise market: ten diverse application categories are included in near-term plans of 37%-41% of respondents.

Cloud adoption maturity & IT staffing impact

Survey data shows that cloud maturity does not correlate to reductions in IT staffing levels. The most and least mature cloud user segments have an average of 19.0 and 20.3 users per IT staff member, respectively. The two groups between the extremes have an average of 16.6 and 16.2 users per IT staff member. The roles may be different, but the survey data finds that absolute employment in IT shops does not decline with cloud use.

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Within SMBs the larger cloud trend is towards deeper use of SaaS

Techaisle’s cloud adoption trend data shows that within US SMBs the SaaS penetration increased from 27% in 2011 to 58% in 2014 and reached 73% in 2016. It is expected that the figure will reach 94% by the end of 2017. Unweighted data analysis shows that SaaS adoption within US SMBs is already at 86% and will likely reach 96% adoption within the next one year. Even at the worldwide level, survey data shows that 76% of cloud-SMBs are currently using SaaS applications.

This view of SaaS as a deepening force within the SMB market raises an important, related question: what is the current benchmark for SaaS within SMBs? How many SaaS applications are in use today? And how many new applications are expected to be added?

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Survey shows SMBs under invested in Cloud security

Techaisle’s survey of over 1,100 US SMBs, covered in US SMB & Midmarket Cloud Security solutions adoption trends report, shows that 41% of SMBs recognize that cloud poses a risk to their data. It resonates most with small businesses (1-99 employees) and is one of the top three issues identified by midmarket (100-999) respondents. However, to a large degree, these firms also believe that they are prepared to address cloud security issues. 46% of midmarket firms report that they are in better shape than their peers.

Survey data also shows that 72% of 1-9 employee microbusinesses, and 62% of small businesses overall, have not layered any security products on top of their cloud environments. They are entirely dependent on the security features embedded in their cloud environments. Even within the more sophisticated midmarket (100-999 employees) segment, the survey finds that only 20% of firms are currently using discrete products/services to secure their cloud environments, a finding that is ameliorated somewhat by the 70% of midmarket firms that are currently implementing these solutions.

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