By Stefanie Calello
SMB Group, a Massachusetts-based technology industry research, analysis and consulting firm, has recently compiled their top 10 SMB technology predictions for 2013. It is important as a service provider to be aware of these forecasts to ensure you and your technology are able to handle the needs of your SMB clients. Below are what we feel are the top three predictions we’ve found from the SMB Group’s report that we think can potentially have the biggest impact on your business predictions:
SMBs Prepare to Optimize for Mobile Computing
The adoption of mobile solutions within small to midsize businesses has soared since 2010, with adoption of mobile applications by employees rising from 17.5% to 21%. As the use of mobile increases, organizations must be more strategic about their mobile investments. A main focus for SMBs will be on mobile management and security, and integration with both the mobile applications and their business workflows. For instance, when people request time off through a time and attendance application, these companies may want employees to have the ability to request that time off through mobile devices, and have an alert sent to their manager through the application they are using and/or to their mobile device. Providing an easy to use, yet cost-effective mobile application will help you increase your client’s efficiency and keep their increasingly more mobile-centric employees happy.
Integration Becomes a Top Priority
According to the 2012 SMB Routes to Market Study, referenced in the report, integration has become the number one technology challenge for medium businesses. These businesses are dealing with integrations between their on-premise and cloud applications as well as integrations between various cloud applications. As integration becomes the top technology challenge, it is imperative that organizations take a deeper dive into their current offering to make sure integrations between the applications are as seamless as can be. Delivering a tight level of integration through open platforms between the various industry-specific applications may help you maintain a much higher client retention rate.
Cloud Cover Expands
Using applications in the cloud has become a trend for SMBs. About 52% of small to midsize businesses are operating within the cloud as stated by the 2012 SMB Routes to Market Study. The true value that your clients will see in a cloud offering is reduced startup costs, speed of deployment, and real-time collaboration and visibility. As the trend for the cloud accelerates, SMBs will continue to seek an anytime, anywhere, any-device solution for their business.
As a service provider, you need to make technology plans for the future and provide a cloud or SaaS based, fully integrated workforce management platform complete with mobile solutions that communicate with that platform. Otherwise, it will be much easier for your competitors that have this level of technology to take your clients away.
If you are interested in reading the full list of predictions by SMB Group, please click here. Let us know what you think of the market predictions and how well you think you are prepared by leaving a comment on this post.
About Stefanie Calello:
Stefanie is a Marketing Specialist at SaaShr responsible for executing marketing programs, predominantly associated with tradeshows and conferences along with other Marketing and Public Relations initiatives.