Today’s small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are on the rise due to work-from-home mandates driven by the COVID pandemic, access to digitalization offerings and the “great resignation” where individuals opted out of their established jobs to pursue entrepreneurship.

Technology acceleration is having a huge impact on SMBs with 77 percent claiming reliance on technology since the pandemic, according to a 2021 study by App Direct which surveyed 2,000 SMBs worldwide. The study found that 65 percent of SMBs are using five or more cloud-based applications for their company with an average of seven apps in use. In addition, Gartner conducted a similar study among SMB leaders, with 47 percent claiming that their top challenge was “identifying the right technology” for sourcing new cloud technology.

The new wave of SMBs recognizes the importance of digitally powered organizations; nearly 75 percent of SMBs view digitalization capabilities as one of their highest priorities according to a November 2021 study by Accenture, the global business management services company. SMB leaders plan to leverage new technologies with the rapid increase of low-code and no-code applications to provide unprecedented opportunities for digitalization. Based on their recognition and value of digitalization, today’s SMBs represent tremendous growth opportunities for digital transformation compared to those companies that are less tech-savvy.

Complexity and digital transformation continue to grow

With consumer demand for smart, connected and personalized devices product manufacturers are faced with the challenges of design complexity and reliance on multi-domain engineering. Electronics and software are necessary for developing functional differentiation in today’s advanced products. Companies must access data-driven insights from a broad range of sources and engineering disciplines to design and manufacture these products within time, talent and budgetary constraints. This is particularly daunting for SMBs who may lack the necessary resources compared to large enterprise companies, therefore, digital software and services are solutions to accelerate successful product development.

Digital transformation includes end-to-end digital threads and comprehensive digital twins to replicate the behavior of real-world models through simulation and performance analysis, connecting design, engineering, and IT data from various sources into shared, interconnected data streams. By adopting digital software and services, SMBs can focus their time and limited resources on innovation and differentiating products more affordably and efficiently, across multi-domain engineering teams (including external suppliers and partners) throughout the product lifecycle. Digital software provides actionable design insight, allowing engineering teams to analyze design tradeoffs to optimize product performance. Digital solutions will maximize the SMB’s business resources by providing the accessibility, flexibility and scalability required to deliver and maintain their smart products to their customers.

SaaS – a business model for SMB success

Software as a Service (SaaS) provides a licensing and delivery business model for acquiring and utilizing applications and technology via on-demand subscription. These applications available as on-demand software are cloud-based or hosted on the cloud. SaaS users have the flexibility to add or remove licenses as business requirements change, making SaaS both affordable and scalable, providing immediate access to a variety of software tools when and as needed. The SaaS vendor provides software updates through the cloud so provisioning is immediate, without the burden of administration, with global access to remote teams or individuals globally. Thus, SaaS provides significant cost savings by eliminating the capital costs for companies to create, maintain and staff their own IT infrastructure. These costs savings allow companies to focus on product development, distribution and services to better serve their customers. Since security is critical, a reputable SaaS provider will ensure secure technology and processes to protect data, applications and services within the cloud architecture. This includes standard compliance for safety and security, access and only access to authorized users.

Capitalize on the power of Siemens Xcelerator as a service

Siemens Xcelerator as a service provides SMBs with the support and services required to grow with their current and future business goals. As a global technology leader, Siemens offers the breadth and depth of software technologies and services to ensure that its SMB customers will access the right software solutions and methodologies to innovate their product designs with reliability. Each SMB has its own unique ecosystem for product development, so users can customize the software tools and tailor them across their organization for immediate collaboration. Using Siemens Xcelerator as a service, SMB customers do not need to be professional developers to personalize the SaaS offerings, and with industrial grade security, SMBs will have a layered approach to support several types of deployment based on the organization’s scalability requirements.

To learn more about Siemens Xcelerator as a service for SMBs, watch the free CIMdata and Siemens Digital Industries Software webinar now: SaaS and the SMB – YouTube

By Larry Toda

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