4 Rea­sons SMEs Have to Adopt IT as They Grow

In an in­ter­ac­tion with Ra­jiv Rao, Di­rec­tor –SMB, Len­ovo In­dia, we dis­cussed PC adoption among SMEs in In­dia and rea­sons why it is es­sen­tial for small busi­nesses to adopt IT

PCQuest - - TECH AND TRENDS - — Srini­vasan Viswanathan

SMEs make up 22% of the IT mar­ket, and is one of the fastest grow­ing seg­ments in In­dia. We held a QFA ses­sion with Rao to get his opin­ion on the trends in PC and Cloud adoption by SMEs. Here are the ex­cerpts:

Why should small busi­nesses in­vest ag­gres­sively into IT in­fra­struc­ture?

I have four key rea­sons for them to do so: 1. When a busi­ness be­comes big­ger and bet­ter to be able to co­or­di­nate, drive and man­age it, hav­ing an IT in­fra­struc­ture be­comes es- sen­tial. As you scale up, you need ef­fi­ciency in your busi­ness, and for that IT is crit­i­cal. 2. Huge amounts of data are gen­er­ated by busi­nesses, and they need to learn from this data to grow. Han­dling such large amounts of data is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for small en­ter­prises. IT helps or­ga­nize such data and ex­tract use­ful pat­terns from it. 3. Busi­nesses that have to link up glob­ally or na­tion­ally need IT to com­mu­ni­cate in real time. Any com­pany in­ter­act­ing out­side of its own lo­cal ter­ri­tory can­not con­duct busi­ness nowa­days with­out IT so­lu­tions. 4. Use of so­cial me­dia, on­line plat­forms al­low busi­nesses the cheap­est way to ad­ver­tise them­selves.

Why are cloud ser­vices not pick­ing up steam amongst SMEs?

If you look at the world­wide trend in cloud adoption, SMEs in de­vel­oped coun­tries were the first to move to the cloud, even be­fore their larger coun­ter­parts. How­ever, there are some chal­lenges and con­cerns about se­cu­rity and data get­ting lost. But these con­cerns are lesser for an SME than for a big or­ga­ni­za­tion. Hav­ing said that, SMEs in In­dia haven’t yet adopted other so­lu­tions apart from e-com­merce. Thus, cloud adoption in In­dia by SMEs is still at a nascent stage. One of the big­gest chal­lenges in cloud adoption is that the end-to-end model has not even been fig­ured out by the cloud providers and the SMEs yet. In the past, the typ­i­cal def­i­ni­tion of a chan­nel part­ner was one who would take your IT prod­uct and sell it to an end cus­tomer. So the end cus­tomer was owned by the chan­nel part­ner. Now with the cloud, once an ap­pli­ca­tion has been sold to an end cus­tomer, he is owned by the orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion provider. What is the roy­alty mech­a­nism now for the chan­nel part­ner? How con­fi­dent is the chan­nel part­ner about pro­mot­ing the cloud ser­vice? All these is­sues have to fall into place to cre­ate a cloud ecosys­tem that works.

What fears do SMEs have in adopt­ing cloud ser­vices?

They don’t fear their data be­ing in a re­mote lo­ca­tion, but they do fear for the se­cu­rity of data and its own­er­ship. Also, in the ab­sence of na­tive con­trol over their data, if some­thing goes wrong with a cus­tomer, their ca­pa­bil­ity to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion van­ishes. Most SMEs also fear that their cus­tomer base is go­ing to some­body else if they put their data­base on the cloud. They ask ques­tions like “What’s the guar­an­tee my cloud provider is not go­ing to share in­for­ma­tion with com­peti­tors?” As the per­va­sive­ness of cloud ser­vices in­creases, SMEs will over­come these fears and adopt more cloud so­lu­tions.

Ra­jiv Rao,

Len­ovo

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