#CloudSummit: SMB SaaS Disruption Comparable to Mobile’s Impact on Local Search

#CloudSummit: SMB SaaS Disruption Comparable to Mobile’s Impact on Local Search

This morning in San Francisco at the SMB Cloud Summit, industry veteran and LSA Tech Adoption Index advisor Neal Polachek presented a forecast for the SMB software-as-a-service (SaaS) sector. One of the biggest takeaways was that SaaS adoption will be as potentially disruptive to the SMB market as smartphones were to local search.

He started his discussion simply describing the impact SMBs have on the US economy, estimating that small businesses drive roughly $7.4 trillion in spending. He added that 48% of all private sector employees (about 58 million) work for SMBs. Clearly, SMBs are critical to the health of the national economy.

Getting into the actual SaaS opportunity, Neal estimated that the addressable SMB marketing is about 10 million businesses. He said this is roughly the number of SMBs that have employees to pay, transactions to process, supplies to purchase, customers to engage, etc. All of which can be supported by SaaS solutions.

More specifically, the opportunity with SaaS fall into five primary categories: human capital, marketing and advertising, operations and finance, supply chain and CRM. Neal added that SMBs are already spending about $6 billion in these five categories.

Further accelerating this adoption of new tech, Neal went on to say that the SMB market is in the early stages of a generational shift, unlike any before it. According to Pew Research, beginning in 2011 and lasting about 19 years, nearly 10,000 Americans will turn 65 (traditional retirement age) everyday. This means that millions of SMBs will either be sold or turned over to a new generation of SMB operators.

From a marketing sizing perspective, recent research puts that current SMB SaaS market around $10B in top line revenue today, growing to about $14B in the next 3-5 years. Neal expects this migration to digital tech within the SMB market will continue to accelerate and providers will need to take advantage in order to remain competitive.

Study: 48% of SMBs Have Upgraded Computer Software in Past 2 Years

Study: 48% of SMBs Have Upgraded Computer Software in Past 2 Years

New digital technology and software are transforming all areas of business for SMBs. From fundamental things like digitizing business records, to more complex integrations like marketing automation, SMBs are embracing technology in meaningful ways.

A new study shows that 48% of SMBs have upgraded to new software for business computer systems in the past two years. The specifics around what kind of “software” or “computer systems” aren’t clear in the study, however it does suggest broad embrace of new, digital tech among SMBs.

Another quarter (24%) have invested in an app and/or mobile website in the past two years and 20% have expanded e-commerce capabilities. The data is directionally aligned with what we are seeing in the market and as software technologies become more affordable and available, we expect continued tech adoption within the SMB market.

The data come from a Wells Fargo and Gallup survey of 600 small business owners. To access the graphic above, click here.

The future of the SMB market and adoption cloud-based technologies will be the topic of discussion at the upcoming SMB Cloud Summit in San Francisco (12.7.17). To learn more, click here.

A New Era: SMBs and the Cloud_Shift

A New Era: SMBs and the Cloud_Shift

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools are transforming how small businesses manage HR, payroll, marketing, finances, supply chain, customer engagement and more. New LSA data shows that this shift to “the cloud” is gaining momentum and all SMB marketing services providers will need to consider expanding their product portfolios in order to increase share of wallet and guard against customer churn.

In this week’s LSA webinar, industry experts Charles Laughlin, Greg Sterling and Neal Polachek explored the state of the market, SMB cloud adoption and what it means for the larger ecosystem. They offered compelling data and discussions including some explanation as to why this shift is happening, giving these five primary reasons:

  • Demographic shifts among SMBs
  • Rising consumer expectations
  • External pressure/competition
  • Desire to simplify, reduce costs
  • Enterprise services moving down market

When looking at the type of SMBs that are adopting cloud-based services, here are some key attributes as discovered by the 2017 Tech Adoption Index:

  • 72% are less than 10 years old
  • 66% have 10+ employees
  • 70% allocate more than 25% of total spend to digital
  • 33% CRM the main entry point for many

The panel also discussed real-world case studies on just how companies are attempting to use software and technology to diversify offerings for existing customers. You can view the entire presentation below.

For access to all of LSA’s past webinars, visit http://bit.ly/LSAwebinars.

These issues will be explored in detail at the 2017 SMB Cloud Adoption Summit in San Francisco 12.7.17. To learn more, click here.

SIINDA Conf: 10,000 Americans Will Turn 65 Everyday until 2030

SIINDA Conf: 10,000 Americans Will Turn 65 Everyday until 2030

The small and medium-sized business (SMB) market is undergoing a technological and generational shift. From the management of basic business operations (accounting, payments, marketing, etc.) to the way consumers make purchases decisions, digital media and technology has completely transformed commerce.

While online shopping is still only a small fraction of purchases (~10%), the influence of digital media on these purchases has been profound. Meanwhile, software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools and technology are increasingly being adopted, saving time and improving SMB efficiency. To some degree digital skill sets and proficiency correspond to demographics.

According to Pew Research, 10,000 Americans will turn 65, traditional retirement age, everyday from now until 2030. As the workforce is increasingly made up of digital natives — a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology — the conclusion is that digital tech usage and adoption will only accelerate.

Yesterday at the SIINDA Conference in Valencia, Spain, LSA President Neg Norton explored this shifting SMB market as it relates to the adoption of cloud-based technology. According to new LSA data, 63% of SMBs have adopted a cloud-based technology. These technologies help SMBs answer four questions:

  • How do I manage my staff? (HR)
  • Who owes me money and who do I owe? (Operations & Finance)
  • How do I get new customers and retain the best customers? (Marketing & Advertising)
  • Where are my supplies? (Supply Chain Management)

In many cases, these questions and the effort to answer them takes up more time and resources than running the actual business. Local business owners spend just 36% of their time practicing their craft. This increasingly motivates investment in technology that gives them back time.


As the chart above shows, the biggest reason for shifting to cloud-based solutions is that it saves time. However, when it comes to actually selecting the right technology, SMBs are forced to navigate an extremely complex and competitive landscape. Looking at the marketing technology space alone can be overwhelming (see Lumascape graphic).

After exploring a variety of SMB market trends, Neg concluded that media and marketing companies have a major opportunity to expand offerings in tech-driven markets. As SMBs become increasingly digitally inclined, marketers should diversify their offerings with SaaS and other cloud-based services.

These issues will be explored in detail at the 2017 SMB Cloud Adoption Summit in San Francisco 12.7.17. To learn more, click here.

Survey: 72% of SMB Amazon Prime Members Use it for Business

Survey: 72% of SMB Amazon Prime Members Use it for Business

Digital technology and “the cloud” are transforming the way small businesses (SMBs) manage their operations. As one example, Amazon has started to disrupt the supply chain.

According to a new LSA survey, roughly 70% of SMB respondents said they are members of Amazon Prime. Of those, 72% are using it to buy parts, products or services for their businesses.

More interesting still, 60% of these Prime users said they purchase from their traditional suppliers and sources less often as a result of Amazon Prime. Amazon is therefore starting to become an alternative to the traditional supply chain for a growing number of SMBs. Similar disruption is happening in other SMB sectors (i.e., marketing, CRM, accounting, human resources).

The data come from a new LSA survey of 264 SMBs. To access the graphic above, click here.