Small and medium-sized businesses are the largest and fastest growing sector in the entire global economy, he said Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya. In 2021, 69 percent of new jobs were created by SMEs, which account for 52 percent of the total workforce.
And Fortune 1000 companies perceive them as competitors, he said.
Speaking at the Miami-based vendor’s ConnectIT conference in Las Vegas this week, Voccola said small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the global economy and it’s up to channel partners to ensure they’re operating efficiently and to the best of their ability.
“We as IT experts and IT security experts in the SME sector are in the right place at the right time,” he said. “There has never been a better industry than the one we are in today.”
He said the Growth that all IT companies experience “is like nothing the world has ever seen.”
“If we think about what’s happening to the global economy, it’s small to medium-sized businesses that are driving everything,” he said. “More than half of all industrial workers employed worldwide are small to medium-sized companies. If you think about what’s forecast for the next three to four years, it grows even more.”
And SMEs are increasingly investing in a technology initiative, according to Voccola.
“These applications offer so much value,” he said. “These small and medium-sized companies are being digitally transformed. They’re changing and IT isn’t replacing what they used to do, it’s augmenting it. This means small businesses are able to reach a much larger audience but rely on technology to do so.”
Security management is key
In 2012, Voccola said that one in about nine small business owners said their business applications were mission-critical. Last year, nine out of ten applications were mission-critical.
“The applications have to be available, they have to be hardened, they have to be secure, they have to work, which means they need enterprise-class IT and security management,” he said. “SMBs now require enterprise-class IT and security management. That’s a huge change.”
But being dependent on technology is a double-edged sword, he said. The existence of IT capabilities transforms a business, but it requires “exponential growth in availability” from the partners who provide those capabilities.
Ninety-seven percent of users expect perfect technology execution, he said, which has tripled from six years ago.
Cyber threats have exploded in the last seven years
Since 2015, the number of security threat vectors has increased by more than 400 percent, he said. According to Voccola, response time requirements have increased by 72 percent and critical data volumes have increased ninefold over the same period.
“That adds up to about a 250 percent increase in the workload required of IT and security professionals to deliver the kind of business applications SMBs are looking for today,” he said.
Phillip Walker, CEO of Network Solutions Provider, a Manhattan Beach, California-based MSP, agreed with Voccola’s insight into SMBs.
“We sort of got away from that model [of shopping at SMBs] and we went to the consortium,” he said.
“Not to offend anyone in today’s world, but Walmart represents 85 small businesses. That was 85 families who used to have assets. Now when you buy flowers, you go to Walmart.”
As consumers switched to big-box stores, he said they “buy thin” because products are made “thin and fast.”
“But SMEs add value,” he said. “If you want a pizza, you know there’s a place in town that makes the best pizza. But how many times have you ordered dominoes?”
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