by January 20, 2016 0 comments

Spice trade was one of the most interesting events in world history which marked the birth of colonial expansion. This era of global competition for dominance was fuelled and funded by mercantile establishments out of which vital parts of the capitalist operating system evolved. Pepper – the most sought after spice was used for flavoring bland European cuisine and was also used as preservative. Technology and Internet is equivalent to pepper and we have tasted it. It is deeply rooted in our personal and professional life and we can’t run away from it. It has many strains like desktop, laptop, smartphones, IoT etc. evolved from it over the progress of time.

Big data can be considered a by-product of consumer based information which is put to use with analytics to maximise the value of that informational data. So, businesses that leverage Big Data will have a competitive advantage. One misconception highly prevalent amongst SMEs is that Big Data and Analytics solutions are only for large companies but the truth is that many SMEs have reached a stage where the cost of storage and maintenance can only be recovered if they know how to handle Big Data. They should know how to use it within their limited environments through analytics.

By leveraging analytics, SMEs can achieve:

  • Real-time insights to make better decisions
  • Capitalising on new opportunities
  • Proactive response to potential issues
  • Preparing a strategic sales pitch for the potential customers
  • All-round customer engagement and higher rates of customer satisfaction

Freemium service model

According to a report by market research firm Zinnov, SMEs are keen to adopt social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) to increase their customer reach, and ensure efficiency in operations. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently announced the arrival of its new Internet of Things (IoT) systems and networking solutions that enable enterprises to collect, process and analyze IoT data more efficiently. It is currently only available in U.S., Europe, the U.K. and Japan.

This segment has immense potential and IT vendors should tap it through a different approach as SMEs needs are quite different from the bigger players.

Cost is one major factor which acts as a hindrance for SMEs who wish to adopt new technology; therefore, IT vendors need to offer their products in a cloud-based freemium model or pay-per-use model. Vendors should prominently focus on:

  • Product localisation
  • Unique support models with reduced overall solution cost
  • Customisable pricing strategies to drive adoption of solutions
  • To provide all the services under the same umbrella

Big data as a service

SMEs can benefit greatly through ‘Big Data as a service’ model (BDaaS). Immense amount of unstructured data is generated on a regular basis which can be analysed by predictive analytics skills provided by an outside company to manage and assess large data sets. This not only saves the SMEs from hiring in-house staff but also unlocks their resources. BDaaS as a managed service is similar to Software as a Service and relies upon cloud storage to preserve data access for the organisation.

According to Rohan Angrish, CTO, Capital Float, “Benefits of technology take a little while to show up in the bottom line of a business, and technology is adopted often only when it becomes a matter of survival. This will change though. Sophisticated technology solutions are now much cheaper than they used to be, and are rapidly moving towards a “pay per use” model.”

BDaaS in sales and marketing

BDaaS is equally helpful in sales and marketing. Businesses are already using analytics in marketing through Custom Dimensions, a feature in Google Analytics. This feature allows businesses to:

  • Capture information about the people visiting its sites
  • Giving insight into their age, gender, and relationship status
  • This business specific tool can also be customised

BDaaS and CRM integration

When customer relationship management (CRM) tool and data is fully integrated, SMEs can monitor and analyse the data effectively. This gives them a lead in preparing a strategic sales pitch for the potential customers.

With the growth in popularity of software as a service, we are getting used to work in a virtualised environment via a web interface, and integrating analytics into this process is a natural next step. We can already see that it is making Big Data projects viable for many businesses that previously would have considered them out of reach.

Flexible deployment solutions

Vendors should offer a choice of deployment options to suit different use cases and data protection requirements. By opting for BDaaS, SMEs can free themselves from all the worrisome technicalities to purely concentrate on business issues and all they need to do is to simply rent any cloud-based storage and analytics engines and pay either for the amount of time used or the amount of data crunched. BDaaS providers also take on the cost of compliance and data protection as they are responsible for the safety of the data stored on their servers.

SMEs need to understand the overall importance of big data in their growth strategy. Any small or mid-sized company that relies on machine-generated data, customer sentiment or mass personalisation should go for Big Data solutions.

SMEs should have a clear sense of:

  • What data they want to own
  • What data they want to access from others
  • Determine which service will help them in generating value and profitability from the collected data
  • To determine the right volume and frequency of cloud based usage

BDaaS and cloud

BDaaS and cloud is a match made in heaven and with cloud storage being cheaper day by day SMEs can benefit from this. By storing data in the cloud and leveraging Big Data to act on it, SMEs can really grow their business.

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