As I start some preparatory work for 2015 initiatives, I have noticed that many analytics vendors are starting to shift their views of SMBs and the needs of midmarket companies in general. When solution providers first started developing their market strategy and developing analytics related solutions for SMBs, their products took similar shape. They were less expensive, less robust, with a smaller number of relevant capabilities. The general premise was that because an organization was smaller and didn’t have the same budget and IT resources as their enterprise counterparts, their business challenges were somehow “less” as well. The reality, however, has always been something slightly different. Although midmarket organizations may not have the same resources as their enterprise counterparts, the reality is that business challenges are the same for organizations irrespective of size.
Within the past six months, I have seen this reflected in many vendor go-to-market strategies, with flexibility existing to account for varying budgetary allocations, but products reflecting the same robust capabilities irrespective of size. The reality is that with cloud, mobile, and self-service paving the way to broader access to information, and storage costs lowering, analytics access is becoming more of a reality irrespective of company size.
The implications for midsized organizations looking at augmenting their analytics implementations or evaluating BI offerings are great. There is no longer the need to settle for a solution with a subset of capabilities or be limited by the number of data sources, number of users, etc. And in many cases, vendors are able to understand the broader needs of SMBs by developing offerings that can meet those needs without taking away functionality that was previously relegated to enterprise applications. Obviously, I am simplifying all of the factors that are contributing to this shift in the market. However, the benefits to SMBs are the same – organizations can now take advantage of offerings that may have been out of their range before. With cloud offerings and data storage in the cloud becoming more commonplace, midsized businesses can also develop more robust data infrastructures without having to worry about hardware and on-site implementation costs. All of these factors create an environment where solutions are finally able to adequately meet the needs of small and midsized businesses looking to leverage data for analytical insight and to meet their strategic goals.
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.