Mid-Market Tech Options for an Uncertain Future
Jul 27, 2020
Businesses assessing technology solutions have a seemingly endless array of options. Buyers can choose between various flavors of Cloud-based delivery models, collaborative tools, networking architectures and more.
On closer examination, however, some gaps emerge. Technology vendors and service providers have traditionally focused their resources on two main market segments. At one end, large global enterprises enjoy platinum-level service from major providers committed to keeping their top customers happy. The result: innovative, tailored solutions that address increasingly complex issues related to regulatory requirements, transformational objectives and legacy systems.
At the other end, small and mid-sized businesses with relatively straightforward requirements benefit from standardized plug-and-play options that require minimal support. By optimizing the ROI of limited IT resources, smaller businesses are able to limit overhead expenses and focus on their core competency.
Meanwhile, the needs of enterprises in the middle – those with, say, up to 1000 employees – have been somewhat overlooked. Such organizations are big enough to have complex requirements that can’t be addressed by off-the-shelf solutions, but have often lacked the resources to command white-glove service from their technology partners.
The good news is that the gap is closing; as a result, mid-sized organizations have an increasingly wider range of solution options from which to choose. A new white paper by Frost & Sullivan examines how market trends and burgeoning demand have combined to focus attention on the requirements of mid-sized firms. According to the report, “Visionary providers are filling the gap for innovative UCaaS solutions designed for the mid-market segment. Overall, cloud services and UCaaS adoption are ramping up in all business segments, driven by converging demographic, economic and technological trends.”
Fortuitously, the capabilities of emerging UCaaS solutions are ideally suited to helping smaller enterprises address the pandemic-related challenge of enabling collaboration for remote teams. Moreover, UCaaS can be part of a bundled solution that combines SD-WAN with virus protection and firewalls to provide reliable and secure connectivity to workers in remote locations.
While all organizations require these basic building blocks of functionality, individual business requirements for remote work capabilities vary dramatically. One firm might need to maintain collaboration between widely dispersed employees in different regions, while another might need to ensure secure transactions between a U.S.-based HQ and branches in Latin America. Businesses in healthcare, financial services, retail and other sectors face the additional task of ensuring that their remote teams and home-based workers are equipped to address stringent compliance requirements.
For any given mid-sized business, in other words, there’s no one right answer. To be effective, technology partners must therefore gain insight into a customer’s requirements, as well as apply the right mix of tools to implement the solution in a cost-effective manner.
Achieving this essential mix of understanding and technology requires organizational agility and flexibility. Embedded platforms and rigid bureaucracies are anathema to the ability to seamlessly assemble bundles of discrete technologies that address a customer’s needs. Integrating innovation teams into the core of the company structure can facilitate a mindset of creatively solving business problems rather than selling static technology components.
As we navigate towards a post-pandemic New Normal, agility and flexibility will be more important than ever. While the future remains uncertain, new and unanticipated contingencies will undoubtedly arise. As a result, the ability to respond and adjust to constantly evolving requirements with will be imperative.