SME’s have all too often (and in our opinion, unfairly) been labeled ‘laggards’ when it comes to digital transformation and the adoption of new technologies. Yet innovation adoption has stalled generally across all sectors over the last 3 years. 31% of SME leaders admit their business ‘can be slow to adopt new technologies’, but what about the other 69%? What’s stalling their digital evolution?
Research shows it’s a two-factor issue – namely cost and a lack of expert integration. Both of which add up to measurable ROI. But predictions are that 2024 will be the year of SME digital transformation because they no longer have a choice. So, for this edition of our TECH INNOVATION TRENDS AND INSIGHTS 2024 blog, we’re discussing the Number One blocker to tech adoption for SMEs – costs and showing how to remove that blocker.
CHANGING THE CURRENT STATE OF PAY – OMNIA is making payment terms more affordable and contractual terms more welcoming.
We, at SDWAN & SASE Solutions, do not hold with the ‘blame the SME’ theory. We see global vendors calling on SMEs to innovate and evolve, but ironically, it’s many of these global tech vendors who play a key role in slow uptake by smaller businesses.
As new technology breaks into the market and is deployed by ‘early adopters’ there is an average of 5 years between these early adopters and ‘laggards’ who deploy much later. But with 87% of business leaders stating price as the biggest blocker to adoption, we strongly believe that long-term, paid-up front contracts and payment terms need innovating as much as technology itself. So how are we at SDWAN & SASE Solutions innovating our pricing models to enable businesses of all sizes to evolve, connect, protect, and remain competitive?
Our C-suite explains:
Toby Sturridge CTO at SDWAN & SASE says. “We have a proven history of technological innovation, but also a firm grasp on what is holding back some businesses, entire sectors in some cases. Cost. That’s part of the reason we created OMNIA – an advanced yet affordable networking, security, data assurance and multi-cloud solution with monthly PAYG options as well as the usual OPEX and CAPEX models. Complexity is also a huge factor in successful integration, and as we have integration experts on our team we can ensure seamless integration into our customers’ businesses”
Anthony Senter CEO says. “Blame for this traditional perception that SMEs are slow to adopt new technologies, must be shared by the technology vendors and providers themselves. Outdated and often ‘elitest’ pricing models have simply put tech innovations out of their reach, and things are far too slow to change. It seems that the bigger the vendor, the harder it is to instigate change. Yet with SME budgets already being allocated to far-reaching technology updates it will be interesting to see if Big Tech adapt their attitudes and their payment models in 2024.
He continues. “What is the real reason for wanting 3 years money upfront? Tying your customers to you for years, regardless of how you treat them or how technology may change, could suggest they themselves face financial difficulties or a lack of conviction in their products longevity.”
Kelly Rogers CMO adds. “We know that many tech companies – big tech in particular – have not aimed either their products or their pricing models at SMEs and often their sales teams won’t even entertain the idea of a chat with a company spending less than multiple millions. That said, our research shows that companies with larger budgets are still looking for the best cost and ROI and are weary of being considered to have bottomless budgets that can be tapped into, sometimes years in advance.”
The second edition of our TECH INNOVATION TRENDS & INSIGHTS 2024 blog strongly focuses on successful tech innovation and digital transformation integration – watch this space for its publication early in 2024.
OMNIA with monthly PAYG, (and OPEX or CAPEX payment options) includes:
- The most advanced ZTNA network, security, data assurance, remote access, and multi-cloud solution on the market
- No minimum term commit, flexible solution – scalable bandwidth & add/remove sites
- Next-Gen SD-WAN with dynamic packet steering & sub-second failover, up to 1Gbps licence, per site
- Fully integrated SASE security framework using top security vendor technologies
- Data encryption safeguards against ransomware and data breaches
- Greener solution: one-box hardware means less energy usage
- Connection to every public & private Cloud instance & seamless integration of IoT devices
- Deviceless ZTNA SD-WAN for secure WFH eliminates VPN issues & management time
- Expertly integrated, managed & supported by us, SDWAN & SASE Solutions, a leading Managed Service Provider
GOOD NEWS FOR SMES’ IN 2024 – economic growth driving digital transformation projects
UK SMEs are expressing optimism for next year with a 14% growth expected in the sector in 2024. This positivity has already begun driving significant spending on technology with the prediction of £17 BILLION GPB already allocated by SMEs for spending on digital transformation in 2024. However, many of the economic factors and stability fears that have impacted in recent years remain in play.
So, are the technology vendors and providers ready and willing to meet demand with a necessary change themselves – namely, a change in their pricing policies – to ensure that increased interest can be balanced with budgetary concerns? They should be! There is an estimated 5.5 million SMEs in the UK, which makes up 99.9% of UK private sector businesses. 5.47 million of these are classed as “small” (0 to 49 employees) and 35,900 are classed as “medium-sized” (50 to 249 employees). Not only do these smaller businesses warrant attention from large tech suppliers, but they need to adopt the latest cyber-security technologies so they can survive attacks and thrive. Many homes in the UK rely upon them.
Kelly says. The world has changed hugely in the last 3 years. The pandemic, conflicts, and ongoing climate changes have impacted globally – every CEO, CISO, CTO, and CFO knows the risk of cyber-attacks in grown exponentially with SMEs being seen as an easy target. We, in the technology and cyber-security arena, must take steps to empower other businesses to be able to adopt cutting-edge cyber-protection technologies to secure their future existence. When you consider that 60% of SME’s do not survive 6 months after a cyber- attack, then factor in that over 99% of all UK businesses are SMEs, the potential negative impact to our society and communities is immeasurable.”
Toby says. “We believe changes are needed to enable smaller companies to evolve, compete and grow. But more importantly, we strongly believe that every business needs access to the very latest networking, cyber-security and data assurance technologies for their very survival. Staying ahead of your business’s competition is crucial, but staying ahead of the increasingly sophisticated cyber-criminals is absolutely essential – tech vendors and providers in this field must take a more collaborative approach in enabling and supporting companies to protect themselves, their data and their future.”
Anthony says: “We are standing by our guns on disruptively innovating the usual payment demands. Our senior team have negotiated hard with our tech vendor partners, some of the most respected technology brands on the planet, to create a monthly PAYG pricing model for OMNIA – our advanced yet affordable, SD-WAN network, SASE security and layer 2, 3 & 4 data assurance, multi-cloud and remote solution.”
He concludes. “Some vendor partners within our ecosystem have refused to change their payment and contract terms, and so we’ve forged partnerships with best-in-breed technology vendors with a more realistic grasp of the current economic climate, who align to our vision of creating a level playing field of next-generation connection and protection for businesses of all sizes, and who, just like us, really want to see local businesses thrive.”
If your business is looking to adopt the very latest connection, protection, and data assurance technologies talk to us about OMNIA – our affordable, advanced solution delivered via one powerful, energy-efficient hardware device with a range of installation, management, and support options from the trusted experts in all things SD-WAN and SASE