Regular readers will recall a series of surveys VMware conducted across EMEA at the end of last year, asking SMBs what their IT priorities, fears, challenges and plans were for 2013. After analysing the results from across the regions, we have identified four key trends within the SMB community that will shape their IT decision-making this year and beyond.
Disruption minimisation and workplace efficiency
When asked how they would use a blank cheque for IT costs for their business, the majority of respondents said they would use that money to minimise downtime during upgrades and migrations, improving business efficiency and reducing the potential impact on business costs and profits. For a growing business even a short amount of downtime can massively impact profits so minimising it is a top priority.
Relating to the first point, disaster recovery features prominently in the priorities of those surveyed, with nearly a quarter stating it was the area they anticipate causing them the most concern in 2013. While a robust disaster recovery system is par for the course for larger organisations, for SMBs it is often perceived as unaffordable, placing them at a distinct disadvantage should such an issue arise. If any of their key IT systems are put out of action, SMBs could miss out on days of vital income. Virtualized disaster recovery products can provide a cost-effective solution to combat these issues and minimise the impact of system failures.
Software as a Service
As the recession continues, sustained growth is difficult for all firms but, in fact, many SMBs are proving adaptable in pursuit of growth by using virtualization technology as a more cost-effective solution to support expansion. This is reflected in the fact that nearly a quarter of respondents are exploring SaaS solutions to meet business demand, using scalable solutions to adapt quickly to expansion and only paying for what they need when they need it.
Cost-cutting is listed as a top priority by many respondents. But instead of a simple desire to reduce cost, SMBs are looking to invest more intelligently and see a greater return on this investment. This is demonstrated by the interest in scalable, cost-effective virtualization solutions that means that they can do more with what they’ve got and get more return on their investment.
The results of our SMB Insights research are by no means exhaustive but they demonstrate an interesting insight into the way the SMB virtualization landscape is changing for 2013 and how smaller firms are using IT to respond to a challenging economic environment.
If you’re a smaller business, we’d love to hear more about the challenges you face, and how you’re using virtualization to overcome them. Why not leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or contact us on Twitter?