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Channel has to do more to help SMEs with IoT and AI

Cloud Industry Forum and Ingram Micro Cloud urge resellers to do more to help users overcome hurdles holding back emerging tech adoption

SMEs are moving towards a range of next generation technologies, including AI and IoT as they look to drive more digital change in their businesses.

That's the positive findings in research from the Cloud Industry Forum and Ingram Micro Cloud. The negative is that a combination of skills shortages and security concerns are holding back greater adoption.

Those resellers trying to pitch a message around AI and IoT should find the majority of customers are open to a conversation about the technologies. But the problem comes in the conversation around deployment and implementation and CIF and Ingram are urging the channel to do more to help SMEs adopt digital transformation.

The research found that just under a third of SMEs have a digital transformation strategy in place, 45% lacked digital transformation skills, and 64% struggled with security.

“The findings from the research indicate that SMEs are increasingly aware of the need to embrace a modern workplace and that digital transformation is at the forefront of their business strategies," said Scott Murphy, cloud and advanced solutions director at Ingram Micro Cloud.

"SMEs are leveraging cloud infrastructure to explore a range of next generation technologies, and are, in fact, further along that road than large enterprises. However, it’s clear that many SMEs don’t have the skills, guidance, and support to safely transform their businesses, and, as such, it’s critical that the channel can step up to the mark and better support their transformation efforts," he added.

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, said that customers were understanding the need for emerging tech but there were problems with the levels of support they were getting and "they’re not getting enough assistance from the channel to see it through".

"Given that many channel partners are still at the very early stages of their own transformations, and still learning about how they can incorporate next generation technologies into their portfolios, this is to be expected. However, I’d hope that these research findings will spur the reseller community to accelerate their own transformation plans and seize the opportunities on offer," he added.

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