Today's small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have to juggle a lot to adapt to market demands. They must contend with increased IT workloads, shifting customer expectations, and evolving employee needs — all in the face of cost-cutting pressure and economic headwinds.
We have surveyed 1,000 IT decision-makers to gain insights into the software trends and priorities impacting SMBs in 2023. Let's look at the key highlights to help you make better business decisions in the coming year.
1. Hybrid work will remain popular
50% of all respondents have adopted a hybrid work model. One particular nuance to call out is that for companies with under 50 employees, on-site work is still on top, just ahead of hybrid. Hybrid companies cite benefits such as higher productivity, improved staff retention, and the ability to meet employee preferences.
The right communication and collaboration tools that can support efficient remote and hybrid work will be the key to success for SMBs in 2023. These applications will help companies maximize the benefits of the model, such as flexibility and employee satisfaction while delivering a responsive and seamless customer experience.
2. Technology consolidation is top of mind
Over 80% of respondents consider consolidating their communication, collaboration, and IT management solutions a top priority. In fact, 93% already have their consolidated efforts completed, planned, or in progress.
Consolidating IT solutions helps increase employee productivity because they don't have to switch platforms or manually transfer data. It also streamlines IT workflows and reduces the resources required to integrate and manage multiple applications. Plus, consolidating vendors can help you lower costs and improve user adoption.
3. Growing IT workloads is a top concern
3 in 5 organizations experienced an increase in IT workloads in 2022. Tech teams had more tasks and faced more challenges supporting remote and hybrid work. 60% of respondents indicate that their IT budget increased during the same year, and 84% want to reduce their IT burden with the right software choices.
Besides consolidating vendors, cloud migration will be the key to lightening IT workloads because the vendor takes care of all the updates and maintenance. SMBs that have adopted cloud-based solutions such as GoTo Resolve are already reaping the benefits of their investment.
4. Switching vendors is a top cost-reduction tactic
85% of SMBs indicate that changing vendors is high or very high on their list of priorities in 2023, with 41% already planning to do so. Combining this insight with the technology consolidation trend, more companies will switch to a single platform that can provide all the features they need.
40% of small businesses with 10-49 employees say value for money is their top priority. The other drivers include improvements in IT administration, reliability, and employee productivity. Companies will unify applications with the same vendor, deploy new solutions, and remove tools not vital to the business to achieve cost savings.
5. All eyes on customer experience
60% of SMBs spent more on customer engagement technology last year, and over 60% of companies will have a higher budget for these tools in 2023. When asked what their main priority is for 2023, almost 2/3 of organizations said expand customer base, and 1/3 said retain.
These companies plan to improve customer interactions by increasing the quality of communications, response speed, and the efficiency of internal processes. They also aim to improve their offerings based on customer feedback.
Putting it all together: A single vendor that offers unified communications and collaboration and IT management and support
Using the right business communication and IT management tools is a must for supporting remote and hybrid work. The technology consolidation trend will require companies to bring all these tools under one roof to reduce costs and improve productivity. The need to lighten IT workload means more SMBs will benefit from cloud-based solutions.
Meanwhile, your communications and collaboration platform must provide robust customer engagement features to help you up your customer experience game. To access all the functionalities you need, without paying for those you don't, you need a UCC platform like GoTo that offers features curated specifically for SMBs.