SMB & Midmarket Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Adoption


    SMB & Midmarket Security Adoption Trends


    Channel Partner Trends


    2024 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges


    2024 Top 10 Partner Business Challenges


    SMB & Midmarket Predictions


    Channel Partner Predictions


    SMB & Midmarket Cloud Adoption


    Networked, Engaged, Extended, Hybrid


    Influence map & care-abouts


    Connected Business


    SMB & Midmarket Managed Services Adoption


    SMB Path to Digitalization

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.
Anurag Agrawal

Dell AI PCs: Powering the Future of Productivity and Innovation

On March 12th, Dell unveiled its updated commercial lineup featuring AI-powered PCs. The lineup includes the Latitude 5000 (5340, 5450, 5550), 7000 (7350, 7450, 7650), and 9000 (9450) series, along with the introduction of the new Latitude 7350 Detachable, set to be available in Q2. Inspired by Concept Luna, the Latitude 7350 Detachable is likely the most serviceable commercial detachable. Dell is also enhancing its headset lineup with the Dell Premier Wireless ANC Headset (WL7024). This headset features AI-powered noise-canceling microphones that intelligently differentiate human speech from background noise and dynamically adjust the noise cancellation level based on the user’s surroundings.

Beyond the Hype: A Look Inside Dell's AI-Powered PCs

The computing landscape is rapidly evolving, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this transformation. Dell, a leading technology company, is at the forefront of this movement, offering a range of AI-powered PCs designed to empower users and businesses to achieve more. In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Dell Technologies has once again pushed the boundaries with its latest innovation: a new line-up of commercial AI Latitude laptops. These cutting-edge devices are designed to enhance productivity, security, and collaboration for business professionals in the hybrid work era. Predictions about the “AI PC” have been enigmatic, but Dell is already showing how these computers can be genuinely helpful. Windows operating systems may soon incorporate AI-driven features, making everyday tasks more proactive and efficient. Imagine a PC that anticipates your needs, adapts to work patterns, and enhances the overall experience.

Dell AI PCs are not a distinct product category; they represent a designation for Dell laptops and workstations equipped with features and hardware optimized for AI tasks. Essentially, a Dell AI PC is an accelerated computer. Dell has been integrating purpose-built accelerators into its PCs for over two decades. Initially, this involved using GPUs in Precision workstations, which acted as accelerators, enabling local execution of AI workloads. There’s a new option: the NPU (Neural Processing Unit). While the NPU is gaining attention, Dell defines an AI PC simply as a computer capable of efficiently handling AI workloads or AI-optimized applications through a GPU or an NPU. This definition applies to desktops, laptops, and workstations alike.

Dell Latitude AI PCs feature robust Intel Core Ultra processors with Intel vPro at their core. These processors are built on Intel 4 process technology (7nm). The system harnesses various compute engines, including P-cores, E-cores, Intel Arc GPU, and Intel AI Boost, to accelerate AI inferencing at the edge. This collaborative approach reduces reliance on separate accelerators, ultimately streamlining system complexity and cost.

Dell has not only enhanced system configuration with AI but also offers AI-optimized software to elevate the computing experience. Dell Optimizer utilizes AI to enhance system performance, prolong battery life, and enhance overall user satisfaction. Furthermore, My Dell, another AI-powered tool, provides personalized recommendations and support for consumers and small business users.

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Beyond Awareness: SMBs Show Strong Purchase Intent for AI PCs

The PC market is poised for a refresh, and AI-powered PCs will significantly impact the industry in the next 3-5 years. According to Techaisle data, SMBs and midmarket companies are not only embracing this trend but may even lead it. A recent survey by Techaisle, covering over 4500 SMBs and midmarket firms, reveals that awareness of AI PCs is remarkably high: 70% among small businesses, 82% in core midmarket firms, and 86% in upper midmarket firms. While smaller SMBs show healthy interest, with 24% planning to purchase AI PC units, core midmarket businesses are even more enthusiastic, with 38% intending to invest. The upper midmarket segment demonstrates the highest intent, with 64% planning to explore AI PCs.

Anurag Agrawal

2024 Top 10 SMB and Midmarket business issues, IT priorities and challenges

Focused on growth and committed to new solutions that expand business horizons – the SMB market is on the brink of a multi-year growth trajectory.

They are here - Techaisle's annual SMB, Core Midmarket and Upper Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges, and Business Issues infographics, 13th year of Techaisle tracking at a WW level, and is sought after by IT vendors, channel partners, and media. Techaisle surveyed nearly 5000 SMBs and Midmarket firms, quota sampled to ensure adequate coverage of four small businesses (1-9, 10-19, 20-49, and 50-99 employees), three core midmarket (100-249, 250-499, and 500-999 employees) and two upper midmarket (1000-2499, 2500-4999) segments. As a result, the data represents a robust and reliable sampling of the market segment for IT products and services.

Techaisle surveys thousands of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) to understand technology imperatives and directions. The annual survey establishes context by asking respondents to identify their top business goals, technology priorities, and IT challenges for the upcoming year.

2024 top10 smb it priorities business issues techaisle infographic

Redefining the art of the possible

The SMB market is a study in contrasts: the tension between boundless aspiration and a constrained reality. However, data shows that a market that has mastered the cloud and is excited by AI will dedicate itself to growth in 2024.

Anurag Agrawal

2024 Top 10 SMB and Midmarket Predictions

In 2021, we predicted that AI would permeate small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and midmarket firms, not as an independent solution but as an integral feature within other products. As SMBs fully comprehend the inherent nature of AI, they will increasingly seek AI-powered solutions to prescribe actions that mitigate risks and enhance decision-making, business agility, and innovation proactively.

We also predicted that AI technology would evolve so rapidly that by the time SMBs become comfortable with data-driven decision-making, AI would be executing decisions that might be beyond the comprehension of business executives. The challenge with AI would shift from trusting data over intuition to trusting AI when insights into its decision-making process are not readily available in the cloud applications used by SMBs and midmarket firms. We expect this trend to continue into 2024.

After surveying over 3000 SMBs and midmarket firms, Techaisle has announced its top 10 SMB and midmarket predictions for 2024. There is intense market pressure on SMB and midmarket executives to deliver tangible progress towards – and benefits from – application innovation and digital business. At least some of this results from a worldwide fascination with Generative AI and its anticipated potential to transform nearly any function it might apply to. Gen-AI offers significant potential for SMBs and midmarket firms to enhance their operations and drive innovation. By leveraging this technology effectively, these businesses can improve efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction.

techaisle 2024 top10 smb midmarket predictions

In 2024, SMBs and Midmarket business and technology leaders will maintain a practical perspective as they move into the digital future powered by AI. SMBs will invest in AI-infused, AI-embedded, tailor-made technology solutions to streamline operations and expand their customer base. To improve manageability, reduce complexity, and limit sprawl, pragmatism will overtake progressiveness. Technology choice and deployment complexity will create purchase inertia, empowering SMBs to seek suppliers capable of supporting a roadmap from the current state to a future-ready organization. SMBs will look for proof points in AI solutions that deliver tangible benefits within their environment. SMBs will adjust their own pricing strategies and implement cost-control measures. Labor shortages will prompt them to invest in employee training and retention initiatives to ensure smooth operations and efficiency. Additionally, SMBs will opt for proactive supply chain management and diversification strategies to minimize disruptions and exploit growth opportunities.

Here are Techaisle’s top 10 SMB and Midmarket predictions for 2024.

Anurag Agrawal

Lenovo's Vision of 'AI for All': Unlocking the Power of AI

AI has swiftly moved from being a mere buzzword to a pivotal catalyst of transformation across various sectors. In the face of modern technological strides, adopting AI is not just an option but a necessity. Its transformative potential is not limited to large enterprises but also permeates small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), reshaping the business landscape by streamlining operations, boosting efficiency, and enabling data-driven decision-making.

Echoing the global trend towards AI integration, Lenovo unveiled its ‘AI for All’ vision at its ninth annual global event, Tech World 2023. The company is committed to driving intelligent transformation by prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility. This commitment is underscored by the introduction of innovations across its three business segments: the Intelligent Devices Group (IDG), encompassing PCs and smart devices; the Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), tasked with delivering infrastructure solutions; and the Lenovo Solutions and Services Group (SSG), offering a wide array of IT solutions and services.

Lenovo’s Hybrid AI Strategy: Unleashing the Power of Data Everywhere

Believing in the universal accessibility of AI, Lenovo has embraced a dynamic hybrid AI strategy aimed at unleashing the power of data everywhere. This extends AI capabilities beyond the conventional cloud environment, delivering real-time solutions at the edge. The strategy envisages a harmonious coexistence of public, private, and personal foundation models to make AI increasingly accessible and secure.

Lenovo’s AI can function solely within a device or securely on on-premises servers, learning from data supplied by individual users or proprietary enterprise data. Importantly, it ensures that no shared information is publicly disclosed or incorporated into open training datasets. This not only bolsters security but also facilitates more personalized AI experiences.

Lenovo and NVIDIA: Pioneering Next-Generation AI Infrastructure and Services

Lenovo is actively developing next-generation AI-ready and AI-optimized infrastructure, aiming to deliver powerful, customized, scalable, and energy-efficient AI to customers through a hybrid approach. This includes an expanded partnership with NVIDIA, introducing a new generation of hybrid AI solutions and engineering collaboration. This partnership is based on a shared vision of making generative AI (Gen AI) accessible to all businesses. Lenovo plans to deliver fully integrated systems that bring AI-powered computing to every location where data is generated – from the edge to the cloud. This will enable businesses to deploy custom Gen AI applications at scale, fostering innovation across various industries.

Moreover, Lenovo and NVIDIA will develop next-generation systems based on NVIDIA’s flexible MGX modular reference design, providing robust and secure solutions for demanding Gen AI workloads.

The companies will also introduce the Lenovo AI Professional Services Practice, offering businesses a suite of services, solutions, and platforms to navigate the AI landscape. This initiative aims to help businesses of all sizes find the most suitable solutions, implement them swiftly and cost-effectively, and simplify their AI journey. With Lenovo’s AI expertise and NVIDIA’s cutting-edge AI technologies, businesses can confidently and quickly embark on their AI-driven transformations.

Lenovo’s Vision for the Future of Devices: AI-Ready Devices and Personalized AI Solutions

Lenovo showcased the future of AI-ready devices and AI-powered features, including a vision of an AI PC designed to enhance productivity, streamline workflow, and protect data. The company is also developing a new concept feature, AI NOW, a personal AI twin (AI assistant) solution for AI PCs. This solution leverages personalized models and information stored on the user’s device to effectively understand and assist the user while ensuring data privacy and security.

Furthermore, Lenovo announced the development of Enterprise AI Twin, a suite of AI applications tailored for businesses. This suite is designed to deliver customized solutions by synthesizing and extracting relevant enterprise data from various sources, including devices, the edge, and private clouds. Users can utilize Enterprise AI Twin in different scenarios and for multiple purposes. For instance, it can simplify travel bookings in accordance with company policies and individual preferences or assist supply chain teams in risk management by integrating public AI data with enterprise-specific information, thereby enhancing decision-making across business areas.

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Lenovo’s Digital Workplace Solutions: Navigating the Evolving Work Landscape with AI and Security Innovations

In response to the dynamic work environment characterized by the widespread shift to remote and hybrid models, Lenovo introduced its Digital Workplace Solutions (DWS) in May 2023. This comprehensive suite of managed services is designed to assist businesses in seamlessly navigating the evolving work landscape, with a strong emphasis on enhancing the digital workplace experience. DWS encompasses a variety of tools and systems that address critical facets of the modern workplace, including technology, security, operational efficiency, and employee satisfaction, thereby helping businesses address the unique challenges posed by the changing work environment. This holistic approach prioritizes employee productivity, job satisfaction, and workplace efficiency.

Lenovo’s commitment to enhancing the digital workplace experience with a human-centric approach is further exemplified by the upcoming launch of the “Care of One” platform. This platform aims to elevate the employee experience by offering automated and hyper-personalized support, leveraging AI and data-driven insights to understand various user personas within an organization. Besides improving individual experiences, it contributes to overall employee productivity, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks and enhancing job satisfaction.

Lenovo tech world 23 Keynote 2295 min

Moreover, Lenovo is making significant progress in the area of security. It has broadened its partnership with Microsoft by announcing an upcoming offering, “Cyber Resilience as a Service.” This cybersecurity solution combines Microsoft’s AI-enabled security stack with Lenovo’s robust security operations center (SOC) capabilities and global reach. As such, this partnership aims to equip businesses with essential tools for protecting their digital assets.

Lenovo’s TruScale: Revolutionizing Business with ‘Everything as a Service’

In recent years, the “Everything as a Service” concept has garnered considerable attention, offering businesses flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. This approach provides a wide range of products, software, and infrastructure as services, simplifying operations, minimizing upfront costs, and facilitating quick adaptation to changing market demands. Lenovo’s TruScale, launched in February 2019, is a testament to this as-a-service trend. It offers a solution that enables businesses of all sizes to access Lenovo’s extensive portfolio within a unified contractual framework. TruScale provides a scalable, pay-as-you-go model with predictable payment options for hardware and services.

Under TruScale’s ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, Lenovo’s hybrid AI solutions are now accessible. Kirk Skaugen, Executive Vice President and President of Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group, underscores, “We’re offering everything as a service through Lenovo TruScale, unlocking the power of Next Generation AI technology not only for large enterprises but also for small and medium-sized businesses.”

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The TruScale approach is particularly beneficial for SMBs as it allows them to manage and scale their IT resources based on their current needs without any minimum capacity commitment. This ensures they always have the necessary technology to stay competitive in the market, whether experiencing rapid growth or facing challenges that require scaling down. This “as-a-service” approach creates a win-win situation for all parties involved. It enables SMBs to thrive in a constantly changing business environment while IT providers can maintain steady revenue through subscription-based services.

Final Techaisle Take

Lenovo's "AI for All" vision is a significant step forward in the AI landscape. The company's focus on inclusivity, innovation, and data security, combined with its hybrid AI strategy, paves the way for AI to become accessible to everyone, including individuals and businesses of all sizes, in a secure and personalized manner. Lenovo is well-positioned to shape the AI landscape and drive intelligent transformation by establishing strategic partnerships, delivering AI-ready infrastructure, and showcasing the future of AI-powered devices and features.

Lenovo has been undergoing a significant change over the past few years, transitioning from being recognized primarily as a hardware company to providing solutions and services. This transformation is exemplified by Lenovo TruScale, which showcases the company's adaptability and unwavering commitment to meeting the ever-changing technology needs of businesses. A key part of the transition to solutions/services is the relentless innovation of intelligent devices so that the solutions, services, TruScale, and DaaS are wrapped around cutting-edge tech.

Lenovo tech world 23 Keynote 1490 min

It is inspiring to see Lenovo, despite having achieved remarkable success for decades, embracing what's best for its future, even if it means deviating from the tried-and-tested model that initially brought them success. Suffice it to say, the future looks bright for Lenovo.

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