Before the pandemic, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) were often inconsistent in their willingness and ability to adopt the latest technology. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed this. Companies realized they must adopt cloud and digital technologies to serve clients remotely and to remain competitive. Those that did quickly fared better than their peers who didn’t.
As we adjust to the “new normal,” adopting new technologies is no longer a good practice but rather a necessity for SMBs. The 2022 IT Operations Survey Report by Kaseya provides detailed insights into the state of IT operations at SMBs, highlights how IT professionals at SMBs do their job, their technology preferences, investment priorities and the trends they hope to capitalize on in the near future.
We collected data from nearly 2,000 IT experts, which allowed us to paint a portrait of an IT pro. By analyzing data from an IT professional’s perspective, we got an in-depth look at the state of affairs in the IT industry — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Meet the respondents
The majority of our respondents come from the Americas (86%).The remaining are distributed equally between APAC (7%) and EMEA (7%). More than one-fourth (26%) of respondents work in the technology sector. The education industry accounted for 13% of the respondent base, followed by the financial and healthcare industries, each accounting for 10% of the respondent base.
More than one-quarter of respondents identify as IT manager or supervisor across all regions. Nearly one-third of respondents identify as director-level or above. Year-over-year, we saw a statistically significant shift from system administrator to manager and from manager to director, demonstrating the opportunity for advancement in IT.
Themes and key findings
Customers today expect a seamless experience regardless of who they do business. That’s why SMBs are taking advantage of modern technologies, previously only available to large companies, to stay competitive, attract new clients and fill efficiency-cost gaps.
SMBs are also adopting technologies like integration and automation to capture this shift in business practices. Let’s look at the three recurring themes that emerged from the responses.
Attention on integration
Managing your IT environment with multiple disparate solutions hampers technician efficiency and makes it difficult for you to meet your SLAs and keep your end users/customers happy. An integrated solution that combines the power of endpoint management, help desk and IT documentation helps streamline your IT operations and provide superior service delivery to more customers without increasing headcount.
We asked respondents to rate how important they consider integration between tools for the success of their business. Over half of the respondents cited integration as a crucial factor for their business for all the options.
Below are the top three integrations, extracted from the complete table. The entire table with the full list of integrations can be found in the IT Operations Survey Report.
Integrations between tools
Access to IT documentation, such as IT asset and organizational information, IT procedures and passwords, in the endpoint management tool
Access to IT documentation, such as IT asset and organizational information, IT procedures and passwords, in the service desk
The ability to run automation scripts (agent procedures) in the IT documentation tool to resolve IT incidents
The percentage of respondents who value integration increased as compared to 2021. Download the IT Operations Survey Report to learn how the yearly comparison numbers stack up and which integrations have gained traction over the past year.
The report also provides details on:
- Which core solutions respondents believe are best to integrate
- The importance of integration when replacing a core tool
Security: Everything is on the line
In this era of remote and hybrid work environments, companies of all sizes are vulnerable to cybercriminals looking for loopholes in their security perimeters. SMBs have realized that cybercriminals view them as easy targets, and they are becoming more vigilant to change this dynamic.
About half (49%) the respondents view cybersecurity and data protection as the biggest IT challenge of 2022. You can find a complete list of top challenges broken down by region in the report.
More than half (52%) the respondents cited improving IT security as the top priority.
Consequently, more small businesses are outsourcing their security needs to IT service providers to benefit from advanced protection.
Other security metrics included in the report are:
- Allocation of resources to security
- IT security staffing growth
- Changes in IT security budgets
A modernized and automated workplace
By leveraging the power of IT automation, IT teams can boost their productivity and keep the business running smoothly. Automation helps small businesses automate mundane and routine tasks that both burn technicians out and is kryptonite to departmental efficiency. Automating the right processes is a silver bullet to many of these challenges and empowers SMBs to scale and provide top-quality service without a hitch.
Almost half of the respondents (48%) said they are planning to invest in automation technologies in 2023. The report includes a complete list of technologies respondents want to invest in, broken down by geography.
Other key metrics shared in the report include:
- 40% of respondents said they are looking to update their outdated IT infrastructure in 2022.
- 33% of respondents placed increasing IT productivity through automation among their top three business priorities for 2022.
The global economy is undergoing massive changes, and SMBs are not immune. They are adopting new technologies and approaching IT from a new perspective, with C-level executives playing a bigger role in the decision-making process. At this time, getting a consensus on what your peers are doing and what changes they aim to make to their IT setup can help you take strategic business decisions. Among the topics covered in the report are budgets, hiring, technology investments and more. Based on the data in the report, you’ll be able to see what lies ahead and streamline your IT process to keep up with changes in the business world.
Download the 2022 IT Operations Survey Report and see if you and your organization are ready to meet the needs of tomorrow.