What are the key challenges and opportunities in terms of business operational efficiency among Indian SMEs?
While small and medium enterprise sector is widely regarded as the engine of the Indian economy, it is also true that this is sector faces severe challenges.
The main challenges faced by the Indian SMEs include limited cash flow, and a lack of better infrastructure and technology. Despite that, technology has played a crucial role in the development of SMEs so far, helping them improve operational efficiencies. One example is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
By eliminating the infrastructure requirements and overhead, SaaS enables SMEs to take advantage of technology that helps them run their business, without the startup and maintenance costs of developing and supporting a technology infrastructure. This gives them flexibility to focus on what they know best – their business.
Employee productivity is something that every entrepreneur wants to increase. This can be achieved by enabling faster decision making and a collaborative environment. What are the possible avenues available for achieving this, are there any best practices in this?
Today employee mobility and productivity are tightly bound together. However, mobility has become more complex for any sized companies, especially when they need to manage the mobility of their staff across many locations.
There are simply more users with more devices using more applications. In addition there has been a blurring of the boundaries between business and personal usage and many IT managers struggle to enforce company policies while employees demand more consumer-like devices and applications. Their need for support in managing this complexity and cost has never been greater.
The collaboration technology and collaborative solutions, like screen sharing or cloud file sharing and storage, help an organization to tie their people and processes. It also allows people to be more effective and efficient by providing the best possible work experience from anywhere, on any device.
In terms of best practices, look for solutions that deliver a high quality user experience without unnecessary complexity – think consumer experiences with business-grade functionality – as user adoption is a key lynch pin for the overall success of a technology implementation and for accomplishing collaboration that is underpinned by technology.
SMEs in India are considered to be a struggling lot when it comes to management of technology infrastructure. How do you look at this situation?
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been largely unable to take advantage of IT systems and solutions due to the high up-front costs of sourcing and deploying the same.
Consequently, they are known to face issues in the management of their supply chains, financials, inventories, customer relationships and human resources. The best technology that they can opt for is cloud based solutions.
The cloud reduces the cost burden of IT for SMEs, especially because cloud services can provide access on a usage based pricing model, and eliminate the overhead associated with standing up and maintaining a technology infrastructure. Other benefits like scalability, flexibility, and on-demand service are highly attractive proposition to this user group.
How do you ensure ease of manageability for cloud based solutions to a typical SME customer?
Because there are no infrastructure requirements for cloud-based solutions, management typically becomes a matter of user access and permissions. This dramatically simplifies the management requirements for SMEs as relates to these types of tools.
What are the key drivers of cloud based services among SMEs?
SMEs benefit from the cloud due to its flexibility, scalability and cost benefits made available through the 'as-a-service' paradigm. The increasing use of on-site IT brings with it implementation and maintenance overhead.
The amount of time and finances invested in managing IT has become more complex and increased exponentially. The IT challenge today is to do more with less, so the reality and expectation of on-site IT are clearly at odds.
So, the cloud offers SMEs it’s the ability to do more with less, and while cost reduction is one of the key benefits, several other benefits accrue to SMEs. With cloud solutions SMEs are able to concentrate on their core competencies while leaving the task of running IT infrastructure to the cloud service providers. Further, through the adoption of the cloud, SMEs can become more nimble.
The cloud helps them quickly provision resources for business opportunities, which could otherwise be lost. The cloud also enables organizations to build virtual and "open" business processes, enabling its various stakeholders including customers, business partners and suppliers to connect and do business seamlessly.
Basic infrastructure is still considered to be a challenge. How do you deliver cutting edge solutions with collaborative communications capabilities?
When it comes to collaboration support and technology, one of the limiting infrastructural problems faced in India is broadband connectivity. According to GSM Association (GSMA), India will become the world's second-largest mobile broadband market by 2016, hitting 367 million mobile broadband.
India will be second only to China which will reach 639 million mobile broadband users, while the US is estimated to achieve 337 million. It is also observed that the mobile broadband connectivity in India had been growing steadily since 3G licenses were awarded in September 2010.
I personally believe that the mobile industry in India is set for immense growth as mobile broadband technologies such as HSPA (high-speed packet access) and LTE (long-term evolution) start to proliferate; so there’s good evidence that there will continue to be significant improvements on the broadband infrastructure front.
With that growth as background, LogMeIn’s collaboration solutions are well positioned for adoption in the Indian market. Our join.me offering is built upon the same platform as our remote access and remote support solutions, and thus offers fast, reliable screen sharing whether you’re across the hall or across the globe.
What prospects do you foresee in the Indian SMEs market?
As the economy is coming out of recession, we have seen that the SMEs are more willing to spend, it has also been observed that SME adoption of smart mobile devices and services are increasing at an even faster pace.
As the number of mobile applications and services grow exponentially the mobile workers need an effective solution that will assist them in remote access, collaboration and more. LogMeIn’s proposition to SME’s is to exactly cater to that need to provide solutions that offer cloud-based connectivity to computers, users, or files and data.
Users have multiple options for connectivity, including access from a Windows PC or Mac to their iPhone or iPad - to maximize their mobility and productivity.