Now that they have proved their survival skills over the past two years, forward-looking companies are embracing innovation. Having navigated their way through unparalleled change, uncertainty and accelerated digital transformation, they know that now is the time to take bold leaps forward. The hurdles SMBs face in 2022 include providing top-class customer service, driving productivity with a hybrid workforce, maintaining data security and adopting robust digital solutions to make these outcomes possible. At the same time, they need to keep an eye on the bottom line and increase profitability.
"Even the most traditional businesses have made progress towards digitalisation. The challenge now is to maintain their relationships with both remote workers and customers. That is why SMBs need to be more ambitious and adventurous with technology and make IT spend a top priority for 2022 and the years to come." Shirlinia Martin, General manager, channel sales, Tarsus Distribution
Most businesses (53%) plan to increase tech spending or keep budgets the same (35%) YoY.
The share of IT budgets allocated to cloud and managed services will grow year-on-year, taking some share away from hardware and software, as some workloads shift away from either on-premises data centres or even hybrid solutions.
Organisations will reinvigorate spending on futuristic tech. Emerging tech adoption plans — especially for newer security solutions — increased significantly year-on-year.
The data suggests the digital transformation efforts launched by the rush to remote work will have an ongoing influence on future tech spend.
Modernised infrastructure needed to support growth
SWZD also reported that the need to modernise outdated technology and bring older infrastructure up-to-speed remains a major priority: “the top factor driving companies to increase budgets is an elevated priority on IT projects (49%), which could indicate multi-year modernisation efforts that were accelerated by remote work, and a steady shift to cloud-based services have chipped away at legacy technology.” Technology served as the great enabler in 2020 and 2021, allowing businesses to stay productive during the pandemic, the report states. More than a third of IT budgets are set to remain on an upward trajectory for reasons relating to COVID-19. In addition, increased security concerns will drive IT spend as many businesses look to secure workers at the office and at home.
Solutions that instil confidence
For all these reasons, SMBs need solutions and services that instil confidence for successful accomplishment of their goals amid the challenges of a rapidly evolving world. Those that are most ambitious will turn their focus to technology solutions to help their businesses run smarter. This includes moves like transitioning to a hybrid, digital-first strategy or adopting modernised infrastructure like cloud and edge computing, app innovation, and data and AI projects.
The bottom line is that SMBs with ambitious growth plans will need to use all the tech tools at their disposal to stay competitive. Supporting employee collaboration, delivering a great customer experience, and keeping the network fast and available will place company goals within reach.