For most small businesses, sourcing IT is just another task on an ever-growing to-do list. What an SMB needs is expert advice to turn IT from a challenge into an enabler from resellers, who can translate the jargon and help source tailored solutions to help meet each individual small firm’s specific needs.
In recent Canon research, more than a third (36 per cent) of SMB / SoHo owners said they lacked skills with IT software when they first started their businesses. This skills gap could lead to long-term problems. Modern businesses run on technology – and that reliance on IT is only likely to increase.
Thankfully smart small business owners will view the digital transformation as a way to improve productivity. This will lead to a large number of SMEs and SoHos seeking counsel, thus paving the way for resellers to present the solution or service.
Some SME and SoHo owners might be concerned that, unlike larger businesses, they do not have access to a large dedicated technology infrastructure. However, the digital transformation has enabled a change in resourcing. Just like larger businesses, SMEs and SoHos can call upon cloud services to expand their IT resources as business demands change.
Smaller firms will often have the opportunity to build their technology strategy from the ground up and can go to the cloud and procure the services they need on-demand.
In light of these challenges, and the onset of cloud services, SMBs must be able to work with partners who can provide support across five key areas:
• Clarity – Providers will need to create SMB tailored services that are precise, with easily understood payment structures
• Simplicity – SMBs want to spend less time on IT management concerns, not more
• Security – Passing control to a third party shouldn’t mean a loss of assurance; great partners put information integrity at the top of their priority list
• Reliability – External service provision is only as good as the service level agreements that suppliers are able to guarantee
• Sustainability – Long-term partnerships are great but if circumstances change, SMBs will need to be able to remove their data safely and simply
By covering these five areas with their partner, SMBs will be in a great position to transform business operations for the better and spend less time on dealing with IT woes and more time on revenue generating activities.