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    2023 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges
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    2023 Top 10 Channel Partner Business Challenges, Marketing Priorities
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    2023 SMB & Midmarket Security Adoption Trends
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    2023 SMB & Midmarket Cloud Adoption
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    2023 Channel Partner Trends
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    SMB Path to Digitalization
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    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.

Six Key SMB and Upper Midmarket Security Trends

The 2023 worldwide SMB, Core Midmarket, and Upper Midmarket IT Security spend will likely be US$84 billion. Additionally, 38% of SMBs and 35% of upper midmarket firms will likely purchase IT security solutions from managed services providers (MSPs). In today’s SMB market, it is critical for vendors to build a detailed understanding of the small, core midmarket, and upper-midmarket segments and to align resources and strategies with requirements as these businesses move from initial experimentation with sophisticated solutions toward mass-market adoption. In the latest research, Techaisle analyzed 2035 survey responses to provide the insight needed to build and execute on security strategies for the small and midmarket customer segments. We find there are six key trends:

techaisle six key smb midmarket security trends

Beyond the six key trends, research finds:

  • A high proportion of SMBs and upper midmarket firms report that they experienced security breaches last year. However, despite this high exposure rate, most SMBs believe they are either “fully prepared and confident” or “as prepared as they can be” for security issues.
  • Small and midmarket firms recognize that the cloud increases the potential for security breaches but are confident – overly so, in Techaisle’s view – in their ability to cope with this expanded risk profile. As a result, most SMBs rely on core security practices and technologies to address cloud-specific threats and are underinvested in cloud security solutions.
  • Security solutions currently in use can be divided into four categories: protection of the mobile environment, protection of data entering the corporate environment, traffic inspection and management, and protection of data being used within the corporate environment.
  • Security-as-a-Service suppliers have had the most success thus far with data center/server, network, and endpoint security offerings.
  • BDMs play an active role in setting security policies, but technical buyers are most likely to acquire security solutions. These technical buyers focus primarily on solution reliability; more junior security professionals focus on support, and senior IT management looks at price/performance.
  • Marketing messages aimed at security buyers should be incorporated within preferred source containers (e.g., whitepapers, case studies, blog posts, etc.) and distributed through preferred channels (e.g., vendor websites, search) aligned with different stages of the security decision process. For example, data shows that some source types, including product trials/demo videos and case studies, are essential in identifying and selecting security vendors.

 

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Zoho Workplace may well be the employee experience platform we have been missing

On February 8th, 2023, Zoho unveiled its unified communications platform, Trident, a Zoho Workplace that offers businesses easier ways to communicate across channels, improve employee experience, enhance organizational productivity, and accelerate business transformation by combining collaboration, productivity, and communication tools. “Distributed,” “remote,” and “hybrid” – these are the realities of today’s workforce. Businesses are increasingly using technology to provide cohesion within the workforce. Businesses that have adopted unified workspace technology believe strongly that it contributes to productivity by providing a single workspace, delivering better access to applications and resources from which employees can accomplish most of their daily work. The Zoho Workplace, five years in development before employee experience became imperative, is one solution that can replace multiple products such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, Monday, DocuSign, Grammarly, and even M365/Google Workspace. Techaisle’s analysis of current and planned cloud workloads underscores the importance of contextual, collaborative capabilities within business applications. Each product mentioned addresses a specific business requirement but is not seamlessly interconnected to provide a cohesive experience without customization and integration overheads.

In the wake of great resignation, robust job market, and paucity of skill sets, businesses are prioritizing employee experience. For example, Techaisle’s latest research shows that deploying employee experience solutions is a priority for 60% of small businesses, 88% of core midmarket, and 96% of upper midmarket firms. These firms are using digitalization initiatives for employee empowerment and are digitally transforming to support employees. 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 positively affect processes and collaboration. This is the target market that Zoho is addressing. Zoho Workplace has more than 16 million users and is growing at 30%+ year-on-year.

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Nine key channel partner and ecosystem trends

IT adoption has become more diffused. The explosive growth in non-IT management control over IT decisions, which changes the buying point and jeopardizes the value of the channel’s IT relationships, is the change that signals the dawning of the inflection point. The IT channel is changing permanently and in ways entirely different from what we’ve seen in the past. In the same way that “cloud” refers to an extensive range of very different IT models and deployments, “the channel” is becoming a generic phrase that describes a set of business approaches that is increasingly specialized and fragmented. Techaisle’s in-depth channel partner and ecosystem research show nine key trends.

 techaisle channel partners nine key trends

 

 

Channel partners are being challenged in new ways.

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Eight Key SMB and Midmarket Trends

97% of SMBs and midmarket firms consider technology important and integral to business success. As we enter 2023, IT product and service suppliers are looking to create a context for understanding the range of outcomes that the new year may bring. Techaisle has launched its "2023 in Focus" research series to support that effort, which illuminates issues and requirements in the vast SMB, core-midmarket, and upper-midmarket segments. After surveying thousands of SMBs and midmarket firms and having hundreds of depth calls, we see key trends that revolve around:

  • Enabling a connected business and business process automation
  • Converging on long-term growth, profitability, and innovation
  • Prioritizing cloud cost management and security
  • Hybrid work but challenges are overwhelming
  • Sharpening focus on IT spend for time to value, agility
  • As-a-service technology acquisition gaining momentum

techaisle 8 key smb trends

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