With amusement, I saw that a leading small-and medium-sized business consulting firm lists 10 technology trends for 2014.
Ten is a great-sounding round number, but it’s preposterous to believe that SMBs know – or should spend time knowing and assessing – so many technologies.
As I’ve written on this blog, my experience tells me that that SMBs wake up in the morning to bake cakes, clean shirts, and sweat for a profit. Bringing in new technologies comes next, if at all.
Here’s the list http://www.smb-gr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/12-3-13__2014_Top_Technology_Trends.pdf from the SMB Group, a Massachusetts company that focuses on researching and analyzing the SMB market.
1. Progressive SMBs Use Technology as a Game Changer
2. Cloud Adoption Accelerates, But SMBs Steer Clear of Dark Clouds
3. Mobile Management Becomes a Priority as SMB Mobile App Use Soars
4. Social Media Marketing Stalls as SMBs Re-focus Marketing Practices
5. SMBs View Payment Systems in a New Light
6. SMBs Prepare for the Insight Economy
7. SMBs Integrate to Gain Higher Solution Value
8. The Affordable Care Act Puts Workforce Management in the SMB Spotlight
9. It’s Easy for SMBs to Go Green and Save Green
10. Make Way for an SMB Influencer Shake-Up
SMB provided much detail for each. Here are a few items that caught my eye and my reaction to them:
Progressive SMBs invest more in technology-based solutions, view technology as a business enabler, and are much more likely to expect revenue growth than other SMBs. Progressive SMBs are blending technology and business savvy to reshape business models, carve out new market niches and invent entirely new businesses.
So-called Progressive SMBs are no less time-challenged. They choose to spend their time differently. Why? Maybe they saw a competitor succeed or have more interest in technology. The commonality is that they know that they need to do things differently.
67% of SMBs now view mobile solutions and services as “critical” to their businesses. They will be looking for easy-to-deploy, cost-effective mobile device and application management platforms and solutions to reduce management headaches and get more value from their mobile investments.
Even Progressive SMBs would be on the sidelines for new technology if it wasn’t easy-to-deploy and cost effective.
Technology vendors that provide unbiased education—and can clearly demonstrate how business benefits from their solutions—will have a decided advantage over those that don’t.
I sell every day to this group. I win when I can effectively communicate business benefits for the individual sales prospect. Anything short is time wasted for all.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program http://Goo.gl/t3fgW, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.