How Channel Can Help SMBs Realize Tech RoI

SMBs Realize Tech RoI

Bengaluru: While the burgeoning SMB players are on the lookout to increase their IT investment, they are often worried about the perceived ROI they get from technology; This is where channel can play a decisive role.

A new study suggests that channel partners can play a major role when it comes to deploying IT solutions for SMBs in tier two and three cities and the remote corners of the country where direct involvement of vendors is not possible. However, those channel partners who understand that the technology requirements of this segment is different are the ones that succeed in the market.

The report by CompTIA, the IT industry association, points out that SMBs place a high priority on technology; many firms want to increase their investment in technology, but have mixed feelings about the perceived ROI they get from technology. Despite a need and desire to embrace digital transformation, most SMBs lack the necessary vision and strategy.

Getting the Fundamentals Right
When dealing with SMBs, channel partners have to apply strategies in accordance with the strategies of their SMB customers. Since they are comparatively smaller organizations, understanding their pain points is crucial to address their requirement.

Simplicity is the Key
Small and medium-sized businesses are more persuaded to use IT than ever before. However, they are not prepared to deal with complex modern day technology. This is turn creates an opportunity for the partners to understand their unique requirement and deliver. It is important to furnish them with IT solutions that are easy to configure and install. Mostly SMBs lacks the time to invest in long-term IT implementation, thus offering support and service resources keeping that in mind is good for them.

Up-to-date technology
SMBs also want to move to new technology products such as mobile, cloud and analytics to maintain customer satisfaction with savvy customers and keep abreast with the demands of modern day requirements. Channel can address this gap by providing latest technology or help scale existing technology for more productivity. SMBs will turn to more channel partners basis the understanding they demonstrate of the SMBs.

Addressing the return on investment concern
Acccording to the CompTIA study, while three in five (60 percent) SMBs believe their return on investment (ROI) in technology has been excellent or good, the other two (40 percent) categorize it as “just OK” or disappointing. The reasons being: ongoing maintenance costs and fees; required upgrades and built-in obsolescence; staff time needed to operate and maintain; upfront costs; and complexity. The sentiment on ROI is accompanied by a caution.

“Technology solution providers can play a bigger role in the ROI discussion with customers by setting realistic expectations, identifying indirect benefits of technology spending and providing big-picture strategic guidance and focused, tactical expertise,” said, Tim Herbert, Senior Vice President of research and market intelligence, CompTIA.

Nonetheless, there lies abundant opportunities for the channel, once they understand the SMB market. According to a NASSCOM- Frost and Sullivan report- The SMB market is seeing a CAGR of about 15 per cent Y-o-Y and this growth is expected to propel the IT spend to cross Rs. 100,000 crores (USD 18.5 billion) by FY2018.

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