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CompTIA’s outlook coupled with Tech vs Traditional SMBs

CompTIA with their new industry outlook.      Their headline – a Return to Acceleration, Innovation and Strategy for the IT Industry in 2022.    The research focuses on 10 trends to watch in 2022, which includes The changing workspace, including both the office and travel.      As well as regulation, and coming changes to the way the industry is managed.

The analysts predict both movement in proactive cybersecurity and the fact that most channel firms have a long way to go.  Finally, consulting will expand – “More channel firms will have a reckoning that reselling products and services in a cloud marketplace era is fading, but they have volumes of opportunity to transform or expand as business consulting experts.”

While I’m covering data, bit more saying cloud is it via TechRepublic.   65% of companies increased the use of cloud infrastructure solutions in 2020 but 86% said their usage went up in 2021.   The research distinguishes between tech-focused SMBs and traditional ones.    For traditional SMBs, the biggest business pain points are recovering from the pandemic and keeping up with the technology curve. For tech focused companies, the biggest challenges are ensuring technology meets the needs of customers and the needs of the business, in addition to recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

And backing up CompTIA’s predictions around the office, Some 60% of firms are re-designing their offices for the post-pandemic era, according to a new report from the commercial real estate firm CBRE.   CBRE looked specifically at firms’ headquarters and found that 58% are building auditoriums, 31% have outdoor spaces, and 69% have onsite baristas or coffee shops.  And private offices are getting smaller — Around 80% are limiting them to 149 square feet or smaller.

Why do we care?

CompTIA’s industry outlooks are always a good read, and I’ve linked to the blog.   There’s a bit of the paper not quite matching the headline.    There is cautious optimism in the paper, and a headline that says “return to innovation”.  Ignore the headline.    Here’s the key passage. 

History tells us that you can’t stay in bunker mode forever. At some point, you must climb out. Encouragingly, signs point upward and onward as we head into 2022, with a level of cautious optimism creeping back into the technology industry.

The landscape is moving towards more known problems – regulation, security, skills gaps – versus the chaos of 2020.    

Couple that with digging into the traditional versus tech focused SMB.   I love that lens.    Tech focused ones are better customers for IT services.    44% of traditional SMBs use hosting and infrastructure services, compared 66% of tech-focused ones.    There may be market in moving companies from one to the other.

Finally, that data on office space.    It’s bigger companies to be sure – and those listeners care – but the takeaway for smaller companies is reexamining their space.  I wouldn’t be just renewing a lease, that’s for sure… and there’s technology embedded in the move to hot desking.