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    2022 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges
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    Top SMB & Midmarket Predictions for 2022
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    Top SMB & Midmarket Predictions for 2022
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    US SMB & Midmarket Managed Services Adoption
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    SMB Path to Digitalization - Prologue and Epilogue
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    HYBRID WORK IS HERE TO STAY?

    NOT SO FAST SAYS THE DATA
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    US SMB & Midmarket SaaS Adoption
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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.

Red Hat cloud services deliver time to value and enhance developer and operator efficiency

In this Techaisle Take analysis, I will discuss which customer challenges Red Hat is addressing with its cloud services, market differentiation, especially VMware, and why its significant value lies in providing a consistent full-stack development and operational experience.

The customer challenges

A successful approach to the cloud needs to be structured around its capacity to evolve, support changing business requirements and customer/partner/employee expectations, respond to competitive pressures, and embrace new opportunities for automation/integration of automated systems. Businesses may be comfortable pursuing a limited number of objectives, but these objectives are no longer static. One of the challenges to providing cloud services is that the cloud spans two significant disciplines. One of the challenges to providing cloud services is that the cloud spans two critical levels. At a strategic level, the cloud is a management issue, and at the execution level, it is an IT issue. In IT, there are two main actors, developers and operators. Both developers and operations teams hold promise to support cloud development and deployment. In response, businesses have turned to an approach to development known as DevOps. In response, businesses have turned to an approach to developing and operating systems known as DevOps. Because of the optionality and complexity of tooling, it can be difficult to source appropriate cloud support for DevOps at a practical level. Techaisle’s Container Adoption Trends survey data shows that 57% of commercial customers seek application modernization services, and 77% are currently engaged in application migration services. Yet, 22% of firms believe there is a lack of IT and business strategy alignment understanding related to DevOps practice. Although modernization is a business priority, determining the right approach, paying off technical debt, internal strife between scrum/agile teams, not well-understood data & application dependencies, and legacy SDLC processes slow down the modernization programs. The competing corporate objectives usually compel an organization to manage and deploy a mix of environments, including on-prem configurations, private cloud, and multiple public cloud services. These diverse environments result in the need for a hybrid approach.

As a result, businesses deal with many inhibitors when planning to add business value at a faster pace and compete in the digital economy. The big challenge is building applications faster, reducing time to value, and deploying on-prem in private or public clouds. Operations teams are specifically under pressure to control costs, reduce operational complexity, improve security, and consistently manage across multiple cloud deployments. Operations teams are managing legacy applications running in virtualized environments in the data center while witnessing explosive adoption of the public cloud and associated services. In addition, businesses are increasing edge deployments, specifically in the industrial and telco verticals.

The solution – Red Hat Cloud Services

Red Hat’s cloud services strategy is built to address the multitude of the above-outlined challenges. Red Hat OpenShift provides consistency across all cloud environments, helping developers in cloud-native application development and rolling out applications in containers faster, giving the operators the ability to have the same operating experience across every deployment footprint for every application in both on-prem and public cloud. In addition to the core OpenShift platform, Red Hat Cloud Services includes several tightly integrated application development and data services intended to help developers build workloads and applications within the OpenShift managed-service environments. These additional managed cloud services include an API management service (Red Hat OpenShift API Management), a Kafka and streaming service (Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka), a service to simplify access control across multiple database vendors (Red Hat OpenShift Database Access), and a data science service (Red Hat OpenShift Data Science) for AI/ML workloads. According to Techaisle’s Container Adoption Trends survey research, the additional services are likely to see an adoption growth of 68% among commercial customers within the year.

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Worldwide SMB and Midmarket IT spending forecast to reach USD1.25 trillion in 2022

Techaisle's latest research forecasts worldwide small business (1-99 employees), core midmarket (100-999 employees), and upper midmarket (1000-5000 employees) IT spend (excluding telecom services) will reach US$1.25 trillion in 2022. IT services will see the highest proportion of IT spending. Datacenter solutions will exhibit a growth of 4%. Overall worldwide cloud spending within the SMB and midmarket will grow by 21%. By 2025, 43% of global SMB and midmarket IT spending will be in the cloud.

SMB IT investment is increasing to counter inflation, labor shortage, supply chain concerns and accelerate business transformation through digitalization. SMBs are looking for ways to streamline business and IT processes to best return on existing human capital. In the pursuit of greater efficiency, SMBs are also exploring options that help stretch budgets and use efficiency-oriented techniques to optimize the impact of wage inflation and the increasingly competitive landscape. SMBs plan to invest in PCs, analytics, cloud, security, UCaaS / CCaaS, customer experience solutions, and networking.

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Top 10 SMB and Midmarket business issues, IT priorities and challenges for 2022

They are here - Techaisle's annual SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges, and Business Issues infographics, 12th year of Techaisle tracking at a WW level, and is sought after by IT vendors, channel partners, and media. Techaisle surveyed a total of 5850 SMBs, quota sampled to ensure adequate coverage of four small business (1-9, 10-19, 20-49, and 50-99 employees), three 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.

Compared to previous years, for 2022, Techaisle expanded the lists of the technology areas, business, and IT challenges studied. In addition, this year, we have also added a fourth column in the infographic – Highest Planned Adoption.

2022 top10 smb it priorities business issues techaisle infographic


Please scroll down/read more to view and download the SMB, core Midmarket, and Upper Midmarket infographics.

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Dell Technologies’ Small Business Advisors Program is deeply devoted to small business success

Small businesses are increasingly dependent on information technology. 78% of small (1-99 employees) businesses consider technology critical to their success. These small businesses are dealing with an ever-expanding portfolio of increasingly complex applications and platform technologies. Techaisle's small business research data shows that 73% prefer to purchase from a supplier who provides business issues focused technology advisory guidance and 64% want an IT supplier vested in customer success. In an IT environment that is already very complex and likely to become more so, trusted advisors are essential to small businesses. Launched in May 2016, Dell Technologies' Small business Advisor program has been consistently simplifying the technology complexity and removing the friction from purchase decision inertia.

There is a perception that Dell advisors only sell PCs. Reality is quite different than perception. The advisors advise and sell end-to-end solutions. For complex needs, such as digital transformation, Dell has a clear second-level escalation path. The front-line advisors can raise the small business needs to large order specialists or technical resources to work on complex solutions. These specialists have the depth to look over the needs and the entire customer account from an end-to-end perspective, provide infrastructure guidance, including VMware products, and configure solutions based on the customer's requirements.

The advisors are not sales agents. Instead, they have the expertise to determine where a small business is in its technology journey and thereby provide contextual guidance. Their goal is to advise customers on what they need and what they could get, what needs to get fixed, how to fix it, and how to get the right next solution. It is a much more holistic way to drive the customer experience. For example, over the last year, a vast majority of advisor conversations were around the following topics:

  • Migration to a remote workforce – What is needed to support a work-from-home environment and individuals looking to maximize their home office setup?
  • General solution guidance – If using software applications such as QuickBooks, Office, or CAD, what system would work best?
  • The move from cloud to on-prem or hybrid environment – What are the benefits of data management, application performance, cost, and security?
  • Supporting the rapid expansion of specific industries, as a direct response to the pandemic. For example, private healthcare, transportation, and niche service companies in the market.
  • Private schools and other entities enabling remote learning/training.
  • Upgrading outdated technology – End-of-life software applications, operating systems, expiring warranties, and low-performing/over-tasked hardware.
  • Ensuring proper security in a rapidly changing IT landscape.

None of the above are simple technology adoption questions. They are also not point-and-click PC purchases. Techaisle data indicates that there is an interesting opportunity to connect high-value guidance with click-to-buy type options. However, this kind of offering needs a more extensive consultative capability in many cases. For example, nearly three-quarters of small business buyers would like their IT suppliers to provide technical advice directly connected to business issues. In addition, almost two-thirds want an IT advisor who is "invested in customer success." Dell has a very rigorous model of getting to know the customer. Customer conversations revolve around what solution the advisors are trying to help with and what problems they are trying to solve through technology.

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