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    2024 TOP 10 PREDICTIONS

    SMB & Midmarket Predictions
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    SMB Path to Digitalization
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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.

Revolutionizing the Workplace: Cisco Webex’s AI Innovations

My journey with Cisco and its Webex product began when I established Techaisle. At that time, Zoom was not even on the horizon. Initially, GoToMeeting was my go-to platform for presentation collaboration, but we eventually transitioned to Webex. However, we switched as the Techaisle team grew and MS Teams was introduced. In the past two years, I have expanded my toolkit to include Webex, the Webex Desk Pro, Webex Desk Mini, Webex camera, and most recently, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 wireless earbuds. Besides Webex, I have used these devices with various platforms, including Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet. The interoperability has been impressive, and the performance of the Webex devices has been outstanding.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

The recent WebexOne event marked a significant shift and showcased a transformed platform. Webex has shed its old skin and emerged as a rejuvenated entity steered by a team of exceptional executives. 

The digital revolution has reshaped the business landscape, with hybrid work becoming a cornerstone of modern corporate culture. Yet, the transition to hybrid work models is not without its challenges. Many organizations struggle to foster a consistent work culture and build high-performing teams in this new environment. Technological disparities, such as inconsistent internet connectivity, further complicate matters, impacting workforce productivity and inclusivity. This digital divide can lead to a sense of exclusion among employees facing connectivity issues, undermining the inclusivity of hybrid workplaces.

Webex is dedicated to helping organizations overcome these obstacles. By integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its platform, Webex has enhanced its efficiency, user-friendliness, and audio, video, and language processing capabilities. The platform now boasts advanced noise cancellation, speech-to-text conversion, automatic camera framing, facial recognition, and real-time automatic language translation, making meetings more accessible and productive. These AI-driven enhancements were unveiled at the WebexOne 2023 event.

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WW SMB PC market forecast to reach 104.5 million units in 2022

Techaisle’s PC market study forecasts SMBs worldwide are likely to purchase 104.5 million PCs in 2022, a growth of 3.4 percent from 2021. The North American and Western Europe SMB PC shipment growth rates will likely be below 3 percent. 20-49 employee size segment will see a 3.9 percent growth rate, the highest among all employee sizes.

In 2022, SMBs are looking past the PC supply-chain challenges and focusing on improving employee experience, better security features offered by Windows 11, and accelerated move to cloud infrastructure requiring modern PCs. The transition to cloud infrastructure will also enable SMBs to utilize computing as a service rather than physical servers for their businesses, shifting spending from CAPEX to OPEX. The IT budget surplus will allow SMBs to purchase newer, more powerful PCs for further growth endeavors. In addition, SMBs prefer easier manageability, cost-effective provisioning, and simpler remote management to improve IT efficiency, available in Windows 11. Techaisle research data suggests that Windows 11 deployment momentum is building. Each of the above factors will drive SMB PC shipment and growth in 2022. PC is still the centerpiece of business productivity, and buying a new PC is likely to have a more significant impact on productivity than any other technology. Modern PCs promise to deliver more than an incremental improvement in performance and features, and even price-conscious small businesses benefit significantly from replacing older PCs with newer PCs.

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Top SMB and Midmarket Predictions for 2022

prediction edit 2

In all sectors, the last two years were tough – and as a result, 2022 is challenging from a market planning perspective. As we enter 2022, IT product and service suppliers are looking to create a context for understanding the range of outcomes that the new year may bring. Techaisle is launching its "2022 in Focus" research series to support that effort, which illuminates issues and requirements in the vast SMB and midmarket segments. To begin with, here are our top 10 (and additional 3) predictions for 2022. After surveying thousands of SMBs and midmarket firms, having hundreds of depth calls, we identified over thirty trends. After that, we systematically prioritized ten predictions for your consumption.

We look forward to working with you in the year(s) to develop fact-based perspectives on the issues that shape the success of the IT industry.

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SMB and Midmarket workforce enablement through unified workspace and collaboration

Techaisle global research shows that 409 million SMB employees will still be in hybrid work mode at the end of 2021. As a result, SMBs are investing in processes, products, and policies to support hybrid workforces. Better hardware equipment and mobile devices are an essential component of remote work, but remote work enablement extends beyond hardware to applications, solutions, and work habits. Techaisle data also found that improving workforce productivity is among the top five business objectives for SMB and midmarket segments. Many factors drive productivity, including management approaches, processes and practices, and collaboration/synergy across activities and functions. But technology is a pivotal contributor to productivity directly and through its ability to affect operations and internal coordination positively. Moreover, as the chart below demonstrates, these benefits don't accrue to all SMBs equally. SMBs that are advanced in their approach to IT ("Enterprise IT") are about twice as likely to achieve the productivity-enabled benefits than lowest-performing firms and 30% more likely to realize productivity benefits than the average SMB. IT provides the tools to support greater employee efficiency and productivity. So what are the best ways to help the workforce to capture these benefits and be more productive?

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