Apple iPad Use Growing Among Small to Mid-Sized Business
In what is great news for Apple and also worthy of notice by the MSP community, 34 percent of SMBs used iPads in 2011, four times the 9 percent SMB iPad usage rate of 2010. According to a national study by The Business Journals, this makes the iPad the fastest- growing technology in the SMB market.
Furthermore, the iPad has achieved substantial recognition among SMBs since its initial April 2010 launch, with 75 percent of SMB owners saying they are somewhat or very familiar with the device.
Reading Between the Lines
So SMBs are taking part in iPad mania. What does that have to do with MSPs? Plenty. First, consider that survey data also shows the average SMB using iPads have existed for an average of 28 years and report $9.2 million in annual sales. A pretty respectable customer base.
Second, beyond sending a clear indication MSPs should be developing services and support for iPad, the survey results give good insight into where SMBs are headed with their technology investments. Productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility. It has become more crucial that business owners have access to their business information and data, anytime and anywhere. Survey results demonstrate that smartphones and cloud computing, as well as the iPad, are all part of this change in SMB technology priorities and are experiencing significant growth as a result of that need.
Providing Accessible Services
So while enhancing productivity and efficiency have not exactly become unimportant factors in providing managed services to SMBs, MSPs need to be cognizant that accessibility has grown from a secondary consideration to a key driver of SMB decision-making. Whatever type of managed service you are providing or promoting to an SMB client needs to be accessible from any touchpoint in the SMB’s enterprise, which likely extends to remote devices such as iPads, laptops and smartphones.
In addition to taking basic steps like mobile- and cloud-enabling managed services, MSPs also should consider accessibility factors such as the need for ensuring remote devices off the corporate network maintain corporate security standards, as well as providing adequate IT support to mobile device users. Ease of accessibility is actually a lot less easier to properly deliver than it sounds at first, but is worth delivering in the right way now to lock in a market that should keep on growing later.