The one takeaway from this Microsoft Office 365 infographic:
The new SMB tech marketing angle is the Cloud.
Over the past 5 years, anyone and everyone in the tech sector has sought what has been coined the holy grail of customer segments – the SMB. Visit almost any IT hardware company’s website and undoubtedly you will see some semblance of solution messaging and positioning for SMBs. The caveat, they all seem to echo the same message:
- Lowers IT costs
- Simple to implement and manage
- Scales as your company grows
The truth of the matter is that 42% of SMBs have no IT department, in effect reducing the total addressable market by the same factor – 42%. Face it, “SMB” solutions no matter how inexpensive, simple, or scalable still require some semblance of IT support. Enter the channel, but even solution providers in the channel are moving away from pure hardware sell – they have been for years. Hence the growth in adoption of the cloud. The cloud not only delivers on the same promises, the TAM actually addresses the full 100% of SMBs. Is it ironic that 35% of SMBs will have adopted the cloud already next year? I wonder what portion of those SMBs are the 42% without IT departments.
So my prediction for 2012…significantly less SMB hardware marketing, and significantly more SMB software and services marketing in the form of the Cloud.