Small business owners apparently are spending more time reading up on cloud services, according to some anecdotal data from SkillSoft. I wonder: As small business owners gain cloud computing knowledge, will MSPs polish their own consulting skills to answer more cloud questions?
SkillSoft, an e-learning/performance support technology provider, has released a list of the 100 most popular e-books for business and IT professionals during Q2 2011. While the list does not strictly focus on SMBs, SkillSoft has a large SMB practice and the list does give some insight into what SMBs are thinking about when it comes to IT.
Four of the 10 most popular IT analyst reports, as well as 14 of the top 100 overall titles, were cloud-related. Although the cloud is still a relatively new concept for most small businesses, readers are researching how cloud computing can increase their efficiency and reduce overhead costs. While SMBs are more likely doing preliminary research with these books, it is still an encouraging sign for MSPs with cloud expertise who are serving the SMB market.
Communication, Effectiveness also Hot TopicsCommunication was a major focus for executives, capturing three of the top 10 positions in the business book summaries category. Another four of the top 10 titles focused on how companies can optimize the effectiveness of their current workforce in the current economic environment.
While these books alone do not adequately inform MSPs of what their SMB clients are thinking about or where they want to take their businesses, they do provide a good indication of the current trends in the market. Technologies that improve efficiency and communication, like cloud and mobile, can provide a crucial competitive edge in a time of distributed workforces, low profits and high pressures. It is up to MSPs to convince their clients the time has come to put down the books and engage in some “real world” learning about these topics.