Techaisle Study Reveals that U.S. SMB File Sharing & Collaboration Adoption Will Grow by 52 Percent in the Next Year

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Speed for innovation, demands for improved productivity, and imperatives for faster time to market are driving SMB collaboration solution adoptions

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Online file sharing and collaboration is a critical IT solution priority for SMBs.

Techaisle’s study on SMB Collaboration Solutions Adoption Trends shows that for 59 percent of US small businesses and 93 percent of US midmarket businesses, collaboration is among the Top 5 IT priorities for investments. In Asia/Pacific, 63 percent of SMBs are turning towards it as a business growth driver and in Western Europe, 68 percent of SMBs are finding that collaboration drives better teamwork and customer responsiveness.

Overall 38 percent of US SMBs are currently using one or more collaboration solutions and another 20 percent are planning to use one within the next year, a growth of 52 percent. Overwhelmingly, SMB customers view online file sharing as the most important aspect of a collaboration solution as 64 percent of SMBs using collaboration are currently using online file sharing (24 percent of all US SMBs) and another 32 percent are planning to use it within the next one year.

The survey data also shows that the next stage in the SMB collaboration adoption is their need for online interaction, that is, simultaneously share and edits files from PCs and mobile devices, mobile video collaboration, integration with social networks, and richer media escalations, such as using chat, text, voice and video at the same time.

As per the study, key business drivers for SMB collaboration adoption are also changing. While currently there is a strong desire to build robust content repositories, the next wave of SMB collaboration adopters are emphasizing speed of innovation, demands for improved productivity, and imperatives for faster time to market.

In terms of brand solution adoption, the SMB market is quite fragmented with Google, Microsoft, and Cisco leading, but there are many other smaller collaboration solution brands that are being used extensively by SMBs. Further analysis of data also underscores the importance and use of collaborative capabilities within SaaS applications such as CRM, ERP, accounting, project management, HR management, business intelligence and content publishing.

With respect to file sharing, Dropbox has had a very strong impact on the SMB collaboration solutions market. By enabling mobile users to share files freely, they at once underscored the central importance of mobility, enabled individual users to be drivers of corporate collaboration activity, and proved the centricity of file-first rather than person-first collaboration models.

Box (another important vendor in the space), on the other hand has gone on record saying that SMBs are not its target market segment. There is a market opportunity for traditional backup and file-sharing IT companies such as Hightail, Carbonite and Egnyte, as well as those delivering mobile workspaces such as Citrix and managed services platform providers such as Continuum and security IT vendors such as Trend Micro. However, the reach for each of these will be limited to the reach of their respective SMB focused channel partners.

Techaisle believes that there are additional file-centric developments that will further shape the nature of SMB file sharing solutions in the years to come. Today, most files are intrinsically connected to the applications that created them. If cloud and mobility are the key determinants of IT delivery, then there would be a need for the decoupling of data from applications. Application-independent data wrapped in rich metadata would allow new cloud-based applications (potentially based on BI platforms) to combine existing data to meet new business requirements. In addition, freed of originating applications, it is also likely that data could be optimally formatted for a wide range of displays: large screen PCs, smaller screen smartphones and tablets, and new display types ranging from signage to digital paper to wearable heads-up displays.

For more details on the report, click SMB and Midmarket Collaboration Adoption Trends.

About Us:
Techaisle is an SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization. It was founded on the premise that go-to market strategies require insightful research, flexible data, and deeper analysis. Its analysis is based on a strong data-driven foundation, which is consistent across all geographies. To achieve its objectives, Techaisle conducts surveys with SMBs and channel partners to understand market trends, opportunities, buying behavior, purchase intent, business issues and IT priorities. Its market research studies cover cloud computing, managed services, mobility, collaboration, virtualization, business intelligence, analytics, big data, networking and data centers. The organization offers its clients: Syndicated Research, Custom Primary Research, Consulting Engagement, Competitive Intelligence, Segmentation and Predictive Analytics services.

Techaisle was founded by Anurag Agrawal, a veteran market research executive with more than 25 years in the IT industry. As an analyst, he focuses on the SMB market and channel partner segments. He writes on and advises IT vendors and channel partners on cloud computing, routes to market, emerging technologies, mobility, big data, the state of the SMB market and channel dynamics. Previously, Agrawal headed Gartner's Worldwide Research Operations. He began his career with IDC and is credited with launching IDC's quarterly tracker research. He is frequently referred to as SMBGuru.

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Techaisle
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