While elaborating on advantages SMBs offer over the large enterprises, Anil Sethi, Vice President and General Manager, India Channels, Dell Technologies, reveals how SMBs are excited about the new-age technologies as well as cloud adoption, which in turn creates a massive opportunity for solution providers
How are SMBs’ IT requirements different from large enterprises?
In the midst of challenging business conditions, Indian SMBs have displayed remarkable strength and versatility by keeping up reliable development. One advantage SMBs have over larger corporations is to respond to challenges and opportunities faster and the ability to change course quickly. With the advent of cloud computing, mobile devices, and unified, a small business can capitalize on changes faster, thus giving it a compelling competitive advantage.
Until sometime prior the SMBs never planned to put resources into IT. Their resources were for the most part being spent on applications and servers. Today that has drastically changed and the SMB area is actuality viewed as the development driver for many IT organizations. New-age SMBs are demanding more developed and advanced technologies to scale their business and adhere to the demand.
The SMB sector is at a critical juncture today and as it continues to expand, the only way to fulfilling buyer need and taking care of the issues of benefit and scale, comes down to innovation, and how they influence it. Indian SMBs are also exploring online commerce at a time when the business models for the use of SMAC technologies (Social, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud) are relatively stable. Investing in technology like cloud and mobile will help small businesses reduce costs and scale faster.
What kind of technologies are in high demand from SMBs?
Many small businesses want to grow! But it isn’t easy—and the methods that worked in the past may no longer work in a world where disruption is the new normal. In the past, most businesses looked at technology as nothing more than a way to support what they were already doing. But SMB Group research shows that today, three-quarters of small business respondents (companies with 1–99 employees) agree that using new technology effectively is key to their company’s survival and growth and that technology is reshaping their business models and their industries.
Few of the technologies that will affect the productivity and effectiveness of an SMB are conversational chatbot technologies, AI and machine learning. SMBs in the manufacturing, construction, services, and education sectors are adopting this rapidly and most will internalize this technology by 2020. The internet of things (IoT) is entering the small business sector which is highly embraced by the Industries that are asset-heavy.
How large is the acceptability you see among the SMB organizations for newer technologies?
In recent years, the rate of emerging technology seems to have reached a newer height as headlines announce the arrival of artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and other emerging technologies. With the newer technologies coming in SMBs have more access to powerful business platforms and technology, which is not limited to large enterprises anymore. SaaS companies have empowered SMBs with critical business infrastructure at affordable costs.
Digital channels and the Internet have enabled small businesses to scale up and grow faster. Technology has empowered the SMBs to look beyond their existing markets and expand their businesses to new markets. Those who are online are growing much faster than those that are offline. In coming years, we can expect to see more small businesses get online and leverage technology for their operations.
How are SMBs leveraging cloud to compete with their large counterparts?
SMBs mostly want integrated solutions to limit complexity and therefore seek channel partners that are capable of delivering cloud and mobility solutions together in an integrated way. SMBs are expected to continue to increase their usage of cloud services for data storage, file hosting and sharing and many more application — in other words, almost every essential function of the business. Already a number of SMBs are using at least cloud-based applications and technologies to make the most of their investment. Productivity gains afforded by the cloud are strongly reflected in business metrics, such as improvement in operating expenses and better cash flow from business operations.
Hybrid clouds are the norm in the Indian SMB space; requiring high-quality managed and cloud services. Clients want their channel partners to strategically support their business around cloud and mobile applications, IaaS, social media, and big data. Reduction in operating expenses and improvement in cash flow is seen to be a significant benefit of cloud adoption. SMBs can have improved cash flows due to the flexibility enabled by cloud usage.