The mobile explosion is causing a major disruption in businesses—and holds the promise of helping SMBs boost employee productivity and customer engagement. SMBs are rapidly picking up on that promise: SMB Group’s 2012 SMB Mobile Solutions Study shows that 80% of small and medium businesses (1 to 999 employees) already use mobile devices and services to support business operations.
Our study also reveals SMBs are rapidly moving beyond basic mobile collaboration solutions (such as email, contacts and calendars) to deploy more business applications. For instance, they’re equipping employees with mobile apps such as CRM, time management, expense management and analytics, and providing mobile purchasing, payments, and scheduling apps for their customers.
With adoption of new applications poised to double over the next year, SMBs will also be faced with new infrastructure and management challenges. Recently, HP announced new virtualization and infrastructure solutions that it is positioning as a solution to help SMBs prepare for and meet some the challenges that mobility brings to the forefront, including:
HP simultaneously announced some enhancements to its “Even Better Than Zero” financing program for SMBs, including a new 90-day payment deferral option.
There’s no question that as mobile solutions become more critical to SMBs, they also fuel new infrastructure requirements for management, security, storage and performance on the back-end. As shown on Figure 1, in addition to cost concerns, SMBs see data, network, device and transaction security, and management as top barriers to moving ahead with mobile solutions.
Figure 1: Top SMB Challenges to Moving Ahead with Mobile Solutions
With the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) and consumerization, more types of devices to manage, more apps and more data, these issues will only become more taxing.
HP is addressing some of the requirements that mobile brings to the forefront with solutions to help SMBs streamline VDI deployment, more easily provision and manage wireless LAN bandwidth, and enhanced on-premises storage options.
But, this announcement does not provide a full picture of HP’s mobile management vision for SMBs—and leaves many questions about HP’s mobile management strategy for SMBs unanswered. For instance, many SMBs would like to offload data storage and management to a cloud provider. What does HP have in this department, and how does it complement these solutions? The announcement also fails to shed light on how HP can help SMBs tackle other key mobility related infrastructure issues, including mobile device and application management, and the need to compartmentalize personal and business apps and data.
While HP has put a relevant mobile veneer on its infrastructure story, it needs to paint more comprehensive picture of its full mobile management and infrastructure strategy and portfolio, from on-premises to cloud—along with the guidance SMBs need to figure out which solution(s) will best fit their needs.
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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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