Four IT trends facing SMBs today will have a profound impact on an organization’s future. SMB executives need to understand these technology trends and develop strategies now to leverage them.
The four top IT trends facing SMBs involve:
- Big Data Growth
- Cloud Adoption
- Mobile Deployment
- Data Security and Privacy
The Data Explosion
Organizations are collecting and creating an ever increasing amount of data. With the resulting information gleaned from big data, decision-makers can adapt strategies to improve both business operations and the customer experience.
SMBs generate data from countless sources, such as sales receipts, social media posts, customer surveys and Google Analytics, to name a few. Companies are now realizing how collecting and analyzing this data can help drive business success.
But it’s not just about generating more and more data. SMB execs need to know what to do with it after they collect it. Organizations must develop proper practices for protecting and managing all the data they collect. When properly managed, big data provides valuable insights into how SMBs can more intelligently and economically run their business.
Migrating to the Cloud
Over the past few years, several studies have concluded a large number of SMBs plan to move at least some of their in-house IT to the cloud. Although IT managers may have a hard time letting go of their internal infrastructure, the cost-benefit analysis for cloud migration in many scenarios just can’t be ignored.
The decision becomes much easier if the organization has a significant amount of legacy hardware and software. Rather than make additional, expensive investments in buying, maintaining, supporting and upgrading in-house systems, many companies are opting to access IT resources in the cloud.
Cloud services eliminate large, upfront capital expenditures. Organizations pay a much lower, consistent monthly fee and can quickly and easily scale their usage up or down as requirements change.
In addition to cost savings and scalability, cloud services help SMBs become more competitive. Cloud services enable all companies today, regardless of size, to leverage the latest IT innovations more economically. SMBs can focus less on maintaining IT systems and devote more time to serving customers and growing the business.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets is dramatically changing the business landscape. In fact, global sales of mobile devices are now outpacing laptops and desktop computers.
SMBs must be prepared to conduct business over these mobile devices. For example, more and more companies will want to facilitate mobile payments from customers. According to Gartner, an industry research firm, the volume of mobile transactions will increase from $163 billion in 2012 to $721 billion in 2017.
In addition, SMBs need to create content appropriate for mobile devices. Mobile content can raise awareness, as well as target customers with location-based information and services. At a minimum, SMBs should optimize their websites for mobile devices.
Embracing mobile technology provides SMBs with opportunities to increase revenue, reach a broader audience and enhance convenience for employees and customers alike.
Stepping Up Data Security and Privacy Practices
Cyber attacks are here to stay so businesses need to take their data security and privacy practices seriously. During 2013, the number of security breaches mushroomed and 2014 shows no sign of experiencing fewer threats — no business has been, or will be, immune from the devastating effects of cybercrimes.
To counter these threats, SMBs must do everything they can to protect their businesses. Keeping pace with the latest industry best practices for enhancing security and maintaining privacy is the starting point.
Because cyber-attacks continue to become more sophisticated the importance of staying up-to-date with security management cannot be understated. All organizations must never let their guards down.
Solutions Targeted to SMBs
In addition to enterprise customers, CyrusOne focuses its solutions on emerging and medium-sized businesses. For example, the CyrusOne Express product line was designed exclusively for the smaller business. To address the specialized requirements of SMBs, Express packages come pre-configured with cabinets, power and connectivity, and offer month-to-month contracts.
In addition, the CyrusOne Marketplace is a portal to simplify the process of shopping for and purchasing data center space.The flexibility of not being constrained by a long-term contract is an option most SMBs value.
Continue here to read the CyrusOne Blog for information about CyrusOne data centers and colocation services.