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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.
Anurag Agrawal

MDR Adoption Booms in Midmarket, Slow in SMB: An Opportunity for Vendors

SMBs are the backbone of any economy and are crucial in driving innovation and creating jobs. Yet, when it comes to cybersecurity, they often lag behind larger enterprises, lacking the resources and expertise to defend against sophisticated cyberattacks. This is where Managed Detection and Response (MDR) emerges, offering SMBs a cost-effective and scalable solution to secure their valuable data and infrastructure.

The cybersecurity landscape is littered with threats, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often the most vulnerable targets. According to Techaisle's research, not many SMBs are aware of Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, a powerful tool designed to safeguard against cyberattacks. This begs the question: are SMBs missing out on a critical line of defense in today's ever-evolving digital landscape?

Awareness drives adoption

Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket research data shows that small businesses are at a much earlier stage of their journey to MDR than their midmarket peers. Just 17% of companies with 1-99 employees report being aware of MDR, compared with 61% of core midmarket firms and 76% of upper midmarket organizations. Looking only at companies that are aware of MDR, current adoption rates mirror this pattern: 5% of small businesses that are aware of MDR are currently using these services versus 45% of core midmarket and 58% of upper midmarket organizations and virtually all companies that are aware of but not using MDR are either currently considering MDR or planning to evaluate these services within the next 12-18 months. These statistics indicate tremendous potential in each SMB segment: vendors must boost awareness of MDR’s benefits while executing an effective conversion strategy. This is especially true in small businesses – which should be an excellent fit segment for a managed service.

Selling sophisticated products to SMB customers is a significant challenge for IT vendors. This problem is especially acute with cybersecurity. Most SMB and Midmarket customer environments need defenses against many different types of threats, attackers, and threat vectors. Most SMBs lack the internal resources to understand what is required to protect against vulnerabilities and how different “shields” can be connected without leaving (or even creating) exploitable gaps in defense posture. Even the channel partners struggle to keep pace with simultaneous growth in threats and threat actors, vulnerabilities tied to in-use technologies or common business practices, and the ever-changing security vendor community.

techaisle smb mdr

Anurag Agrawal

AI Beyond Boundaries - Google's Approach to Generative AI

Google, a trailblazer in Artificial Intelligence (AI), has made significant strides since the introduction of Transformers in 2017. These neural network architectures have revolutionized natural language processing and AI. Google’s dedication to making AI accessible and valuable for all is evident in its development of an infrastructure designed to manage vast data quantities while maintaining stringent data security.

Google’s innovations span Vertex AI, Duet AI, Google Cloud Infrastructure, and the AI Ecosystem. These components are intricately woven into its cloud services and workspace tools. Google acknowledges the necessity of staying abreast of current trends through innovation and the imperative of protecting AI models and data from potential threats.

Furthermore, Google emphasizes the value of partnering with service providers experienced in AI to help businesses maximize the benefits of AI products. Through these technological advancements and collaborative initiatives, Google aims to contribute significantly, especially to clients who may lack easy access to machine learning specialists.

Vertex AI: Google Cloud’s Platform for Generative AI Applications. How Google Cloud’s Vertex AI Enhances Gen AI Capabilities for Businesses

Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, a platform designed to assist developers in creating applications using Generative AI (Gen AI) models, offers new services such as Enterprise Search and Conversations. Since its launch in 2021, Vertex AI has been instrumental in managing the complete lifecycle of AI models, from discovery, training, tuning, and testing to evaluation, control, and deployment. Google Cloud Next 2023 announced significant enhancements to Vertex AI, focusing on how Gen AI capabilities can augment Vertex AI for businesses.

Anurag Agrawal

One year with Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition: A Celebration of ThinkPad Excellence

Sitting in a hotel in SoHo district in New York City on a cold winter day in October 2022, I received my 30th-anniversary edition of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Upon unboxing, I was immediately drawn to the thoughtful details that set this edition apart. The packaging, crafted from eco-friendly bamboo and compostable sugarcane materials, was encased in a 30th-anniversary sleeve. Nestled within was a pamphlet chronicling the ThinkPad’s journey, a commemorative anniversary sticker, and interchangeable TrackPoint heads in vibrant RGB red, green, and blue colors. The lid branding was the first thing that caught my eye as I unveiled the laptop. The tri-colored logo is a delightful throwback to the old branding, reinforcing the nostalgic theme of this special edition.

My journey with the ThinkPad brand began in 1993, when I first laid hands on an IBM model, though I can’t recall if it was the 700 or 700c. The day the screen shattered was a heart-wrenching one for me. However, the efficient tech support at IBM’s Exchange Square in Hong Kong swiftly replaced the screen, much to my relief. In 1994, I switched to 701, also known as the Butterfly.

Fast forward to 2005, Lenovo took over IBM’s PC division, continuing the legacy of innovation that the ThinkPad line was known for. Among their offerings, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon stands out as a highly sought-after business laptop, earning critical acclaim for its slim design, robust performance, and impressive battery life.

In honor of the ThinkPad’s 30th anniversary, Lenovo introduced a special edition of the X1 Carbon. I am fortunate to have spent the last twelve months with this 30th-anniversary edition of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition is a remarkable milestone, celebrating three decades of the esteemed ThinkPad series. With a mere 5,000 units in circulation, this limited-edition model pays homage to the ThinkPad’s illustrious past and its progressive evolution.

Retaining the body design of the Gen 10, this compact laptop is a traveler’s dream with its 14-inch frame. Its slender 0.6-inch profile and feather-light weight of 2.4 pounds make it my constant companion during my relentless travels. Indeed, the laptop’s negligible weight in my backpack is such that it allows me the added convenience of carrying a ThinkVision M14. The two together have traveled with me three times around the world in the last twelve months. The presence of 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports proves incredibly handy. They allow for effortless connection of an external webcam or a light, eliminating the need for additional dongles.

The keyboard boasts a unique anniversary design, with the TrackPoint cap mirroring the classic ThinkPad colors. These nostalgic colors pay tribute to the original ThinkPads and serve as a recurring theme on this device. I’ve carefully preserved these interchangeable heads in a Ziploc pouch in my backpack.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition version I’ve been using is a powerhouse. It’s equipped with an Intel Core i7-1270P processor, which ensures robust performance for all my demanding tasks. Accompanied by 32GB of LPDDR5 memory, it allows for seamless multitasking.

The laptop also features a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD, providing me with ample storage space and facilitating quick boot times and rapid data access. This feature is a boon for someone like me who accumulates a lot of information.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition display is indeed a highlight. Its 14-inch screen, with a 3840 x 2400 pixels resolution, delivers crisp visuals and vibrant colors. This enhances every task, whether working on spreadsheets, watching videos, or participating in video calls.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 30th Anniversary Edition is more than just a laptop; it’s a testament to thirty years of innovation and quality. Its top-tier specifications, sleek design, and limited availability embody the ThinkPad brand's legacy. This powerful and stylish laptop is a device that celebrates the ThinkPad’s journey, making it an excellent addition to any workspace. My workspace.

thinkpad 30th

Anurag Agrawal

How SMBs and Midmarket Firms Can Leverage Cloud, DevOps, and Containers to Boost Agility and Productivity

Over the past two years, organizations around the globe have embarked on a tumultuous journey. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes, making productivity and agility more relevant than ever. Despite significant economic challenges, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have demonstrated resilience and determination. Their survival has been primarily due to the adoption of technology solutions.

As we look to the future, it’s clear that the success of businesses, particularly SMBs, hinges on their ability to enhance speed, adaptability, and productivity. This requires focusing on two key areas: business agility and productivity optimization.

The journey towards improved productivity and agility involves several strategies. For instance, businesses should adopt cloud technology to boost organizational agility to overcome slow resource provisioning – a common issue with traditional IT infrastructures. Additionally, moving away from monolithic legacy systems can enhance both agility and productivity. SMBs should also consider adopting DevOps practices over conventional app development methods to increase their ability to innovate and launch compelling offerings, thereby expanding their market share. DevOps can accelerate the transition from planning to production and speed up innovation – a critical factor for future growth.

However, it’s important to note that adopting these technologies can increase the complexity of IT infrastructure environments and escalate cloud costs. Therefore, SMBs must strategize effectively to manage cloud costs and leverage techniques like automation to streamline processes.

Utilizing the Potential of Cloud

SMBs and midmarket firms are constantly exploring innovative ways to enhance their operations, and cloud technology has emerged as a promising solution, offering agility and operational efficiency. Unlike the conventional practice of hosting applications on-premises, cloud computing enables the deployment of applications across multiple platforms without the need for physical infrastructure, thereby allowing businesses to adapt quickly to changes in their business environment.

Increasingly, businesses are migrating workloads to the cloud to expedite time-to-market, enhance efficiency, and bolster resilience. According to Techaisle’s research on SMB and Midmarket Cloud Adoption Trends, many businesses are shifting their focus toward the cloud. Specifically, 41% of SMBs and 45% of upper midmarket firms are actively investing in migrating more workloads to the cloud. Furthermore, there is a growing trend towards utilizing multiple public clouds, with 39% of SMBs and a notable 55% of upper midmarket firms increasing their usage. They are adopting a multi-cloud strategy to adapt to evolving demands, utilizing various cloud providers and services tailored to their specific needs. Consequently, the cloud environment has become more open and interoperable, ensuring that applications function seamlessly on any cloud infrastructure, regardless of the provider.

Furthermore, cloud-native technologies like Kubernetes and containers have revolutionized application deployment and management. Containers have simplified application development, testing, and deployment across various clouds by encapsulating applications into self-contained units, facilitating smooth migration between environments. Kubernetes is an orchestration framework that simplifies container management by providing automatic scaling, load balancing, and fault tolerance. By embracing containerization and Kubernetes, businesses can achieve application portability, reduce dependencies on specific infrastructure, and enable seamless multi-cloud operations.

For many SMBs and Midmarket firms, the journey towards migration and modernization commences with containers. These tools offer significant benefits, such as faster app deployment and updating, which 44% of these firms recognize. However, it’s worth noting that 66% of SMBs and midmarket firms are still exploring the potential of containers. Among the midmarket firms, 29% are already utilizing containers in various areas, including development, modernization, and migration.

Evolution from Virtual Machine (VM)-Centric Development to Cloud-Native Containers

In the past, virtual machines (VMs) have been instrumental in application virtualization, allowing companies to operate multiple virtual servers on a single physical system. However, VMs have certain limitations that can hinder application mobility and agility. Each VM houses an operating system and runs its own applications, which can lead to resource inefficiencies and elevated overhead costs.

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