Let’s do a market data mashup.
Starting with TechAisle, with their 2021 priorities. In the SMB, the top business issue is increasing business growth. Top IT priority is the cloud, and top IT challenge is maintaining current infrastructure. Over in the Midmarket, it’s Increasing profitability for business, Cloud for Priority, and managing data growth for IT challenge. Collaboration is a higher priority for Smaller companies, although it’s simply competing with hybrid workplace for in both markets for the 2nd and 3rd places.
Kaseya also has their 2021 MSP benchmark, where customer acquisition tops the challenges list. Customers, however, are ranking remote workers as the top problem – with security right behind it.
Altaro Software looked at the shift in platforms. Eighty seven percent of MSPs polled saw more Office 365 business last year, and a 55% increase in implementation business.
Things aren’t smooth sailing for all businesses, however. Half of all women-owned businesses and nearly 6 in 10 small businesses owned by people of color (59%) are “highly concerned” about keeping their firms solvent through the end of the second quarter, a new survey from Alignable shows. 45% of all small businesses are highly concerned. 41% of those companies have a month of less of cash reserves left, 49% couldn’t pay March rent in full, and 74% of owners are struggling to receive PPP funds.
Women and people of color are reporting more instances of harassment — such as hostility, exclusion, or requests for dates or sex — in this new era of remote work, according to a new survey from Project Include, a group headed by Silicon Valley’s Ellen Pao.
As for that security problem… Canalys is reporting that more data was compromised in the last 12 months than in the past 15 years combined.
And Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer survey showed that favorable views of the tech sector have dropped 6 points over all. It’s still better than other sectors, but falling. And in the US, it dropped nine points, to an all time low of 57, right into the middle with healthcare, retail, and manufacturing, but better than social media. They are at 46.
Why do we care?
Let me tell it in story form. Looking at data from the industry, there’s optimism and opportunity in every data point. When asking customers how they feel, they’re nervous, worried, having security issues… and they don’t trust the technology sector.
So much for the trusted advisor. The industry as a whole is taking a beating, and the market condition and sentiment has changed. Building the same amount of trust is harder and more costly than it has been before. That’s just a fact.
That’s not to say those industry data points are useless. Just put them in the larger context.