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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.

SMB Mobility Security preparedness and threat sources

Techaisle’s recently completely study US SMB Mobility Solutions Adoption Trends shows that SMBs are more optimistic than they ought to be about their current mobility security profiles, but even so, less than 20% of US SMBs believe that they are “fully prepared” today. Like manageability, security is an important constraint on mobility adoption within the SMB market. Suppliers need to help SMB clients to establish frameworks that protect against both external and employee threats to information security.

In many ways, it is difficult or impossible to isolate security as an issue in mobility. Security is intrinsic to the devices, applications and solutions used by SMB firms that have adopted mobility, and security is an essential factor in supporting the mobile workforce. Techaisle wants to highlight two findings from the US SMB 2015 mobility survey that are specific to security, and which are important to understanding and supporting the SMB mobility market.

techaisle-smb-mobility-security-perception-threat-sources

Current mobility security posture within SMBs
The first of these data points concerns the current mobility security posture within US SMBs. As the data shows, SMBs are cognizant of the challenges associated with securing mobility-dependent workspaces and work patterns. Fully 45% believe that they are “as prepared as we can be,” but acknowledge that “requirements will change.” Nearly 20% state that they are “partially prepared” but have “known gaps and shortfalls,” and other 5% confess to being “not very well prepared.” In reality, it is likely that “partially prepared” describes a much greater swath of the SMB market than these figures suggest: requirements do indeed change continuously, and even firms that are confident that they are “fully prepared” (19%) may find that the threat landscape is more extensive and pernicious than they had imagined. Techaisle is aware that it is hard for suppliers to persuade potential customers that they “ought to want to” be more proactive with security – but with increasing frequency and severity of breaches and attacks, and the exposure that mobility’s flexible perimeter incurs, it is important for suppliers to position their solutions against the reality of the threat landscape rather than the SMB perception of exposure and preparedness.

SMB perception of mobile threat sources: the enemy is inside the tent
Second data point has to do with mobile threat sources. Techaisle survey data shows that the enemy is inside the tent. During the course of the Techaisle SMB 2015 survey, respondents were asked “When it comes to security risk in the mobile computing context, which of the following represents a source of exposure or uncertainty within your organization?” To a (surprisingly) high degree, SMB concerns with mobility security revolve around users. SMB IT respondents ranked three user-attributable issues – user neglect/irresponsibility, lack of user knowledge and awareness, and user mishap/thoughtlessness – amongst their top four concerns, trailing only “general malware infection” as a mobility security threat.

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SMB Purchase intentions for PCs, Tablets, Chromebooks

As is the case in each year’s research, the 2015 Techaisle SMB Mobility Adoption Trends survey asked respondents to detail their plans for acquisition of different types of client devices. Two of the major categories investigated by the survey were desktop PCs and notebook PCs. Here, as was the case last year, Techaisle finds stronger purchase intentions for desktops than for notebooks: 30% of US small businesses and 75% of US midmarket companies are planning to buy desktops in 2015, as compared with 18% of small businesses and 63% of midmarket firms reporting notebook purchase intentions. Projected volumes of purchases are also generally higher for desktops than for notebooks.

However, corporate purchase intentions do not provide a complete perspective on mobile device acquisitions. While one can assume that all desktops connected within a business are company-owned, both data and experience suggests that some of the notebooks used within a corporate environment are employee-owned. By including potential employee purchases of notebooks as a factor in the expansion or refresh of corporate notebook fleets, the SMB PC acquisition outlook for 2015 gets altered.

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Influencing the SMB Cloud buyer’s journey

There are many differences in the cloud outlooks of large vendors and niche suppliers, startups and Fortune 500 firms, traditional channel members and online markets, but there is one common issue that firms across the cloud spectrum face: the need to find an effective way to attract and engage prospective SMB cloud customers. What are the best ways to reach SMB buyers as they make cloud decisions?

Techaisle’s SMB Cloud Computing Adoption survey research shows that there is no one method that will engage cloud buyers within the small business or midmarket segments: in both markets, buyers use a mixture of multiple reach and multiple depth vehicles to understand and evaluate options.

As a means of providing some meaningful clarity to the question of how to allocate resources across the buyer’s journey and to help indicate where buyer time is spent today – and where marketers will need to invest Techaisle looked at fifteen different influencer options and segmented them into one of three categories:

  1. “shallow” (TV and print advertising),
  2. “moderate” (technology websites, IT magazines, brochures/fact sheets/newsletters, catalogues, search), and
  3. “deep” (vendor websites, recommendations, personal sales calls, conferences, webinars, case studies, white papers, blogs/forums)
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SMB Virtualization and Converged Infrastructure penetration increasing

Techaisle’s SMB Virtualization Adoption Trends and SMB Converged Infrastructure Adoption Trends studies show that virtualization and converged infrastructure are poised for strong growth in 2015 within the US SMB market because they both address specific high-priority IT and SMB business issues. SMBs have a clear need to reduce costs and improve efficiency of back-end infrastructure and to establish better control over mobile resources. Virtualization helps accomplish both of these goals and converged infrastructure provides a platform that sophisticated SMB users are already finding compelling.

Server virtualization: the thin edge of the wedge?
Sever virtualization is not the only virtualization option available to SMBs, client virtualization technologies VDI and DaaS are also increasingly prominent in SMB IT strategies. However, VDI and DaaS should not be seen simply as “next steps in virtualization.” Like server virtualization, VDI and DaaS address key SMB corporate issues – but they are different issues - support for mobility solutions and improving productivity rather than cost control.

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