Small and midsize businesses in India are increasingly getting more familiar with utilizing information technology such as cloud computing. Coupled with this is the use of smart phones and social media.
As per a recent study by Zinnoy, a management consultancy, India has the second largest number of SMBs in BRIC and USA. These five countries accrue to India’s gross domestic product more than 60 per cent.
According to the study there are four categories of SMBs based on intensity of utilizing IT. These are unorganized, traditional, savvy and sophisticated. The last two groups of businesses are flexible in adopting new technology and applications.
The SMBs which are more IT savvy are found mostly in such metropolitan cities such as Chennai, Mumbai and Bangaluru.
There is across-the border growth in all segments of industrial sector comprising retail, manufacturing, consumer products, automotive, engine and construction, professional services, mining, education, biotechnology. Sectors such poultry, gems and jewellery, dairy, plantation, city gas distribution have also adopted IT substantially. This trend is because of the market potential and growth of this market.
The study found Indian SMB market, IT spend at a mere 30 per cent of overall technology expenditure and is likely rise along with growth of demand for mobile devices, social media and cloud computing.
The growth of 3G services and increased use of business IT applications on smart phones, the expenditure on mobile devices is growing.
Companies in knowledge sector offer employees the choice of working from home; these require CRM (customer relationship management) and supply chain management (SCM). Tablet devices smart phones are very helpful in this regard.
However, such use of IT is limited to a minuscule 20 per cent of all SMB enterprises. It is pointed out that SMBs should utilize social media to benefit to the fullest potential.
Cloud computing has turned out to be a boon to cash strapped Indian SMBs. Cloud based applications such Microsoft Office 365 offer ‘affordability, scalability, flexibility and mobility’. SMBs also found Software-as-a-service (SaaS) useful and it is getting more popular among the lot.
Business intelligence (BI) services based on (SaaS) are likely to grow going by the current trend of shifting to sophisticated application for gathering basic information from usual excel application.
This, all good trends augur well for the sector. However, there are challenges confronting including scarcity of funds, absence of localized and customizable IT products and skilled man-power crunch.
A bulk of the enterprises are rather reluctant to adopt IT. Further, SMBs use spurious software which jeopardizes business data and applications. Thus, another challenge for SMBs is the security of data.