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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.

How Qlik Helps Midmarket Firms and SMBs Unlock the Power of Data Analytics

If connected cloud is the logical starting point for discussing the essential elements of a connected business platform, connected insights is the discussion’s logical destination. In today's highly competitive business environment, the significance of data has increased exponentially for most types of enterprises, including midmarket organizations and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, organizations often need help to harness data effectively to achieve desired business outcomes, mainly due to their lack of readiness for analytics. To address this issue, Qlik offers a comprehensive suite of real-time data integration and analytics solutions that seamlessly connect data, insights, and actions.

With over 40,000 active clients, of which 25,000+ are mid-sized businesses, Qlik offers an easy-to-use platform that allows business users to analyze data, gain insights, and make data-driven decisions. It empowers companies to unlock growth opportunities and optimize operations by seamlessly integrating diverse data sources and customizable analytics applications. Moreover, as organizations grow, Qlik's scalable solution can seamlessly handle mounting volumes and complexities of data analysis, making it suitable for midmarket clients and SMBs. Additionally, the company’s capacity pricing model is designed to be affordable, allowing organizations with limited resources to leverage the full potential of its robust analytics capabilities.

Techaisle’s latest research shows that analytics is a top priority for SMBs, with 73% of SMBs, 92% of core midmarket firms, and 99% of upper midmarket firms prioritizing it. In 54% of organizations, IT and business users struggle to manage data growth, while in 59%, IT and data analysts focus on data integration. Developing an ‘evidence-based culture’ is critical in using analytics to achieve business objectives. 39% of firms are working towards enabling a data-driven decision-making culture. Given this data, Techaisle believes that Qlik is well-positioned to meet the needs of midmarket firms.

Data literacy is as crucial in today’s workforce as reading and writing were during the Industrial Revolution. Qlik provides a wide range of free data literacy resources, including various courses available through a consortium with other companies. For organizations looking to enhance their employees’ skills, Qlik offers tailored programs designed in collaboration with Chief Data Officers.

QLIK: DELIVERING DATA TO INSIGHTS TO ACTIONS TO FORESIGHT

The availability of various data sources makes gaining a unified and comprehensive view of a business complex, and integrating data from diverse systems and formats is incredibly challenging for SMBs and midmarket enterprises with limited resources. Recognizing this challenge, Qlik provides a solution that empowers organizations to conduct cross-functional analyses, unveiling hidden insights and correlations that may otherwise remain concealed in data silos.

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Techaisle Study Finds Cybersecurity Breaches Cost SMBs and Midmarket Firms Millions

According to a survey of 2035 businesses conducted by Techaisle, cybersecurity breaches cost SMBs (1-999 employees) an average of US$1.2 million in data, productivity, compliance and regulatory expenses, and staffing costs. In contrast, upper-midmarket firms (1000-4999 employees) suffered an average loss of US$28.6 million. The research also revealed that 56% of SMBs and 88% of upper midmarket firms experienced at least one cyberattack in the past year.

SMBs and midmarket firms recognize that a security breach can have significant business implications. When asked about the potential impact of a breach, 54% of firms stated that it would damage their customers’ privacy, 49% believed it would erode customer trust in their business, and 44% saw it as damaging to their company’s reputation. Nearly one-quarter reported that a breach would have a substantial negative impact on their bottom line. Security is not just an issue but also a critical factor in defending against threats to trust, compliance, and financial viability.

Security is a critical concern for SMBs and midmarket firms. While technology is essential for productivity, growth, and profitability, it also exposes businesses to potentially devastating security breaches. Many SMB firms practice “security through obscurity,” hoping that attacks will target larger organizations while they keep a low profile. However, with enough hackers, scammers, and cybercriminals to go around, every conscientious SMB executive must address security threats and take action to safeguard their business against other threats, such as loss of customer trust, compliance with laws and regulations, and loss of financial solvency.

Techaisle survey indicates that SMBs have IT security on their agendas, with 85% of SMBs and 100% of upper midmarket firms considering it a critical concern. A closer look at the findings shows that other important issues for SMBs, such as cloud and hybrid work, cannot be implemented without an effective security approach.

techaisle smb midmarket security breach impact

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Cisco’s Unified Cybersecurity Strategy: XDR, Duo, Umbrella, and Partner Ecosystem

As the market becomes flooded with specialized security solutions, an important question arises: Who can effectively integrate and manage all these different solutions? Cisco is making changes to position itself as a leading contender. As a comprehensive solution provider, Cisco can fill gaps in the cybersecurity landscape and ensure a cohesive approach to security, especially cloud security. It is building and integrating its portfolio of offerings, for example, XDR, Umbrella, Duo, Talos, many others, and now Armorblox.

As threats evolve, security efforts have shifted from solely preventing incidents to investigating them quickly and anticipating future risks. With IT environments now comprising interconnected networks, communication tools, mobile devices, cloud applications, and more, security is a top priority. Techaisle data shows that security is an IT priority for 74% of small businesses, 85% of SMBs, and 100% of midmarket firms. Endpoint security is already relatively widely adopted by SMBs. In addition, security suppliers have made headway in gaining customers for mobile hardware and access control security services. While Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools are helpful, their capabilities are limited to detecting and responding to threats on endpoints and servers. Prevention remains the best approach to security, but detection is essential.

Cisco’s new XDR technology presents exciting opportunities for business growth by leveraging its vast network infrastructure and customer data to tackle security challenges. To strengthen its position in the security industry, Cisco is streamlining its go-to-market strategy and investing in partnerships to unify its cybersecurity offerings. Its partner growth strategy includes upgrading firewalls and refreshing products for existing customers, offering competitive pricing and margins to win new business, and introducing new partner offers for Security Operations Centers, such as Managed Detection and Response using Cisco XDR.

Cyberattacks targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have increased, particularly ransomware and DDoS attacks. Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) safeguards employee identities and credentials. However, only 16% of SMBs and 25% of midmarket firms use MFA enterprise-wide. Similarly, only 13% of SMBs and 16% of midmarket firms have adopted single sign-on. However, the intent to adopt is significantly higher. Cisco offers MFA and single-sign-on (SSO) through its Duo offering, introducing innovations such as passwordless and risk-based authentication and Verified Duo Push. In addition, Duo has made security more accessible by integrating its Duo Trusted Endpoints capability into all service tiers, allowing users to restrict access only from corporate-managed devices or devices registered with Duo. This helps prevent unauthorized access attempts from unknown devices. In the advanced tiers, users can also assess the devices’ health before granting access and block risky or non-compliant devices, such as those running out-of-date software.

Securing endpoints and servers is essential for organizations, but cybercriminals are finding ways to bypass these measures through covert attacks. Instead of directly targeting high-value assets in data centers, they gain access through laptops and move laterally through the network. As a result, relying solely on an EDR solution or a firewall is not enough to detect and prevent cyberattacks. To fully protect IT infrastructure, it’s necessary to integrate prevention, detection, and response technologies into a single solution. This is where Extended Detection and Response (XDR) comes in, providing a comprehensive approach to security.

XDR builds upon the concept of EDR and expands its scope. It goes beyond the endpoint and server by integrating data from various security tools, including firewalls, email gateways, endpoint, network, identity, DNS, public cloud tools, and mobile threat management solutions. While it is possible to connect these components manually, a comprehensive XDR solution is designed to function as a unified system wherein components are interconnected and work together seamlessly to optimize threat detection and response workflows. Cisco's XDR solution in one such system.

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Navigating the Perfect Storm: The struggle of MSPs and IT suppliers in SMB technology adoption

SMBs are increasingly dependent on information technology. Techaisle SMB (1-999 employees) survey found that 78% of small (1-99 employees) businesses and 97% of midmarket (100-999 employees) businesses consider technology to be “somewhat” or “very important” to their success, and 28% of small and 43% of midmarket firms report that they have become more dependent on technology over the past 12 months. These SMBs deal with an ever-expanding portfolio of increasingly-complex applications and platform technologies. At the same time, these firms are struggling to rein in IT-related expenditures, including staff-related costs. This combination of increased reliance on technology as a critical element of business success, burgeoning complexity, and cost constraint has created a ‘perfect storm’ for using managed services.

Building an effective managed services channel is a long and complex undertaking. On the positive side, many channel members participate in managed service delivery today, and longer-term trends indicate that a sizable proportion of the channel community will develop managed services specializations. There is also compelling evidence that buyers need and value managed services and that this need has been growing over the past five years and will continue to increase. However, the data also shows that channel firms need help transitioning from delivering some managed services to building viable businesses on a managed services model. To be successful, vendors will need to set objectives spanning the three-year period over which the managed services specialization will emerge and invest in the tactics (and execution excellence) required to support partners through this period.

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