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Top 2010 ICT trends that the industry isn't talking about

Top 2010 ICT trends that the industry isn't talking about

By SearchSMBAsia Editors | Apr 15, 2010

Much attention has been given to 2010 trends such as the increasing adoption of SaaS, managed services, virtualization and mobile applications. AMI Partners has chosen to highlight six other trends that the industry hasn't fully explored. We are well into the 2nd quarter of 2010, and hence timely that we revisit AMI Partner's predictions to see how far we have come.

1. SMBs will loosen restricted ICT budgets this year, due to pent-up demand.
Technology that facilitates the shift out of survial mode and enable businessess to focus on business expansion has become more important. SMBs will also seek to enhance existing customer relationships, improve business efficiencies, and grow revenue in the coming months.

For small businesses, this means increased use of collaborative tools, improved networking and implementing disaster recovery plans. Medium businesses, as well, are focused on more effective collaboration among employees. However, this will come in the form of more enterprise IT solutions such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and server virtualization.

2. Hollow SMB value propositions will be replaced by tangible business propositions.
Substantiated marketing messages with more quantifiable information will be required to drive ICT purchases beyond basic break/fix purchases. As a result of the economic downturn, business decision-makers (BDMs) are much more involved in the purchase process of ICT.

SMBs will require stronger justification for ICT purchases, and in a language BDMs can directly translate into bottom line results. Phrases such as “save time” and “save money” will need to be heavily supported with hard numbers and proof of outcome.

3. Cloud computing solutions will struggle to capitalize on the full market opportunity presented in 2010.
Adoption will continue to climb in 2010 (as well as interest), but SaaS marketers will need to reduce confusion, misinformation and apprehension in order to convert interest into actual purchases.

2010 will continue to see accelerated adoption and mainstreaming of key technologies like Cloud computing and Virtualization, as cost savings, operational efficiency and IT disaster recovery are key business drivers. However, marketers will struggle to fully address the growing interest in SaaS and virtual infrastructure solutions due to the amount of confusion in the value proposition and offerings that exist in the minds of SMBs.

4. Social media will move beyond its primary role as a promotional tool into the more strategic role of business intelligence in 2010.
Businesses will continue to adopt digital marketing media to reach customers, and as usage of social media grows so will the advantages and opportunities for SMBs to capture valuable competitive feedback. Although the number of SMBs using social media as a source for business intelligence is small, it will grow significantly in 2010 as the value of the tool becomes more obvious. 

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