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Here is an interesting research article on SMB’s pulled off of the publicly available Microsoft PressPass site. Some findings below. Link is HERE.

1. Strategic IT Investments Bolster the Bottom Line. Smaller businesses will continue to view IT as a strategic asset, a cost cutter and a means of increasing employee productivity. Lower spending does not imply lower value or reliance.

2. Lower Budgets Mean Less Has to Be More. Streamlining IT through virtualization or server consolidation will increasingly be viewed as reliable means of adding business capabilities while reducing management and overhead costs.

3. Service and Responsiveness Are Key to Customer Retention. The parallel objectives of improving employee productivity and delivering a better customer experience will drive SMBs to look at how they can better leverage the collaboration, mobility and business insight tools they already have, followed by strategic investments in these areas as incremental return on investment is achieved.

4. Smaller Companies Will Increasingly Adopt Cloud Computing. More smaller businesses will adopt cloud-based solutions as the economic climate drives demand for solutions that are affordable and flexible and offer financially backed service-level agreements. Smaller businesses will remain cautious, however, and will closely evaluate the security, reliability and interoperability of cloud-based offerings. On-premise solutions continue to offer familiarity and a predictable return on investment and will therefore increasingly be complemented with hosted and online services offerings to create hybrid solutions that bring together the best of both delivery models.

5. Better Together: SMBs Rely on Trusted Partners. Small and midsize customers will turn more to vendors and value-added resellers (VARs) to help improve their bottom lines. Expect VARs to work harder to show that they understand SMBs and deliver more personalized communication and greater depth of expertise as they compete for business.