Survey also shows that smaller companies continue to lag in IT maturity
Security and the cloud’s growing role in backup and disaster recovery are at the forefront of an SMB IT market that’s continuing to be stagnant in its maturity, according to a recent study by IT solution provider Kaseya.
The Lowdown: A survey of 400 IT professionals from around the globe found that security remains the top concern for smaller and midsize companies as they deal with an increasingly sophisticated threat environment, said Kaseya, which provides solutions to both MSPs and in-house IT teams. At the same time, there’s a glaring need for more SMBs to adopt automated software patch management, with only 42% of respondents either using or planning to use the technology.
The Details: The survey shows an SMB space that’s facing many of the same challenges as larger enterprises while also gaining greater access to tools like automated software and the cloud that can level the playing field with their larger brethren. The key areas noted by the study include:
> Security: 32% of respondents sustained a security breach in the past five years, with at least 10% saying they were hit with a breach in the past year. Not only is there a need for increased use of automated patch management solutions, but only 42% monitor third-party software and apply critical patches within 30 days. There also was a strong link between outages and data breaches: Almost 61% who sustained a security breach last year also suffered two to four outages, a 15% increase from 2018. Kaseya officials said this was another proof point that IT maturity among SMBs is standing still.
> Stagnant IT maturity: More than half of respondents have consistently been at the lowest levels of IT operational maturity based on a set of IT management capabilities, with many companies “in constant firefighting mode,” Kaseya officials noted. Among respondents, 35% were at the lowest level of maturity; 21% were at the second level. Only 11% hit the highest level.
> Cloud backup and disaster recovery: 90% of respondents said they back up their servers, with backup to the cloud being part of the overall strategy for 33%. Cloud adoption is high and fewer SMBs have concerns about it, but many are still not backing up their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application data. Only 29% back up such data from SaaS environments like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, or Google’s G Suite.
> Service levels: SMBs want to deliver higher service levels, but over the past three years, the percentage of respondents to Kaseya’s survey that have no formal SLAs in place has grown from 35% in 2017 to 43% this year.
The Impact: Kaseya has been conducting its survey since 2014 to give both companies and channel partners a clearer idea of what’s happening among IT teams for SMBs and what these smaller businesses need in terms of technologies and services.
The Buzz: “The adoption of modern information technology solutions has the ability to transform the structure and daily operations of today’s IT teams, allowing companies to offer a greater variety of solutions and higher levels of service to their customers. As these technologies mature into the 2020s, the playing field will continue to level as midsize businesses and smaller IT organizations leverage more powerful tools to compete with their large enterprise counterparts,” said Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer at Kaseya. “With these new tools, IT teams can meet the challenges of ever-increasing customer expectations and security threats that demand constant innovation and operational improvements from frequently overworked staff.”