According to a new study, mobile technologies like the iPhone and iPad aren’t delivering all the applications and features that most small businesses feel they need to succeed. The issue is less with Apple (or Google or RIM) and more with the developers and technology partners that create and market solutions tailored to the somewhat unique needs of the small business market.
The study was performed by Techaisle, a research firm that specializes in the small to mid-size business (SMB) market. It looked at whether small businesses felt that they were getting adequate options and support from cloud and mobile technology vendors. It found that across several areas, mobile technology solutions are failing to provide needed capabilities.
For mobile technologies, the study looked less at individual platforms, specific devices, or even specific apps. Instead it focused on more general categories of technologies. In almost every mobile tech category, Techaisle found that the demand for tools and services outstripped the available vendors and solutions. The biggest gaps being in areas like mobile productivity and office suites, time and expense management tools, social marketing, and logistics.
When it comes to cloud solutions available to small business, available options met a much larger set of needs or demands, but there were still some key areas, like cloud security, where that wasn’t the case.
Overall, however, it seems that industry integration is the biggest unmet need for small business when it comes to cloud technologies. Such specific and vertical integration actually goes beyond most large cloud providers can offer because the needs are so industry-specific by nature. This has the effect of making niche solutions in specific fields better options than large and more traditional vendors.
Techaisle does note that when it comes to both cloud and mobile technologies for small businesses, there is a growing selection of small, flexible, and niche companies that are managing to provide needed services. This is particularly true in when it comes to mobile solutions and mobile management. The challenge, according to Techaisle, is that because these aren’t large IT vendors, many small business may not be aware of or able to connect with the companies that produce them.