How to Find More Time, Money and Higher Security for Your Small Business

September 26, 2017 • Vish Mulchand, Senior Director, Product Management and Marketing, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Storage Division • Blog Post

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Hybrid IT, an often overlooked solution for small businesses, takes advantage of lower costs and the agility of the cloud while still maintaining high levels of security and performance
  • Three technologies in particular stand out flash media and storage, predictive analytics and Hyper-Converged Infrastructures

Hybrid IT is the answer for SMBs struggling with lack of staff and small budgets

Every business, regardless of size, wants to digitally transform their company and their industry. However, when I talk to small business owners, they often share struggles that most large enterprises don’t have—lack of dedicated IT staff and, typically, small budgets.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are constantly balancing making the right investments to grow their business while also making sure they don’t accumulate debt that has a negative long-term impact on that growth. It can be especially challenging for SMB owners to decide which technology to purchase.

Surely, security is almost always a big topic of conversation when it comes to technology—every business wants, and needs, the confidence that they are protected against attacks—but I often hear that the most important requirement of technology for these businesses is simplicity. Because most SMBs don’t have a dedicated IT department, everything must be simple to install, simple to use and simple to maintain.

But it takes time to sort through all of the many technology options in the market today. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to technology. Businesses must determine the right fit for their particular needs, environment, expertise and budget. And I’ve never heard a small business owner tell me they have endless free time to make those determinations. In fact, almost always the opposite holds true.

The solution becomes to work with partners that know their industries and help find the right solutions. These partners assemble the best components – hardware, software, services—and then get the systems up and running. By using trusted partners, SMBs can focus on what they do best: serving customers and growing the business.

Three Technologies All Small Businesses Should Evaluate

You hear a lot about choosing between cloud or on-premise infrastructure these days. But that overlooks the solution I think is right for many small business: hybrid IT.

Hybrid IT takes advantage of lower costs and the agility of the cloud while still maintaining appropriate on-premise infrastructure for high levels of security and performance.

SMBs should give serious consideration to using a consumption-based IT model. Running a business can be unpredictable. You never know when growth will happen or to what extent. With a consumption model, such as the new HPE Consume IT for SMB solution, businesses can start small and grow their consumption as their business grows. This results in leveraging operating expenses and stretching one's budget as far as possible.

Here are three types of technologies small businesses should consider:

• Flash Media and Storage – By using this type of technology, SMBs experience a higher level of performance, which means they can process transactions more quickly. If a customer tries to make a transaction on a small business website offering web services, but the business does not respond, the customer will likely go to a competitor. But when response times improve, revenue often improves as well.

Flash is also simple to use—for example, no extra performance tuning for multiple databases required. Customers have told me that they have gotten 30 percent more productive through deploying the right kind of flash storage and also have a third fewer tasks to complete, which really adds up to a lot of time-savings. Most importantly, they shared how they were able to spend that time focusing on their business instead of trying to make something work that wasn’t a fit for their 

• Predictive Analytics – Being prepared is especially important for SMBs, due to limited resources. By using predictive analytics in their IT infrastructure, businesses can be alerted to an event is potentially going to happen and can avert the disaster by taking preemptive action. The technology can also help manage infrastructure and improve the full customer support experience.

• Hyper-Converged Infrastructures (HCI) – With HCIs, I’ve seen many businesses streamline their daily operations by bringing together compute, storage and networking elements that can be managed as a single entity.,.. The bottom line? Everything can get done a lot quicker than before without requiring the domain specific expertise in each of the respective areas of server, storage and networking.

The Path to Saving Time and Money

Customers that I work with have been happily surprised at how quickly they see tangible and meaningful benefits.

Flash has been the go-to storage technology for the last few years but many SMBs simply haven’t been able to afford technology or even in some cases, incorrectly perceive that they can’t afford the technology. However, HPE’s recently announced offerings are specifically designed to help SMBs take advantage of flash technology without breaking the bank. SMBs are no longer priced out of the technology that can really make a difference in their business; they now have access to the same technology leveraged by larger enterprises, but with an affordable price tag. Some examples of this include:

  • HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10, ProLiant ML350 Gen10 and DL580 Gen10 Servers add to the HPE portfolio of the world’s most secure industry standard servers. Gen10 technology offers a data breach detection mechanism which will notify businesses right away if they have been breached. This will help SMBs conform with important parts of new data protection regulations. HPE is the first vendor to put silicon-based security into servers, addressing firmware attacks, which are one of the biggest threats facing businesses today. The ProLiant ML110 Gen10 and ProLiant ML350 Gen10 servers bring the high performance and expandability midsized businesses require. They make IT simple, secure and affordable for SMBs and remote offices and branches. The secure HPE ProLiant DL580 Gen10 provides storage expandability and performance scalability going from two to four processors to support business critical applications for midsize businesses.
  • MSA1050 Hybrid Storage Array for midsize customers looking to take advantage of flash storage including lower operating costs, improved performance and increased speeds, starting at just $5.5k.
  • HPE Nimble Storage offers customers the most advanced predictive analytics engine in the industry to accelerate and protect workloads.
  • StoreFabric M-Series Ethernet switches offers affordable performance especially suited to environments with all-flash.
  • HPE OfficeConnect OC20 business-grade Wi-Fi made simple for small business.
  • For customers that want the simplicity and elegance of consuming their IT infrastructure in a single appliance, HPE SimpliVity 380 Gen 10 hyperconverged infrastructure offers affordable all-flash storage for higher performance and service levels in virtualized environments.
  • HPE also offers a new flexible financing option, Consume IT for SMB, which is a consumption-based offering to acquire and refresh technology solutions.

Helping SMBs grow and achieve success has always been a focus at HPE. And it’s an endeavor that’s become more exciting and fulfilling because these new product lines can help HPE customers achieve added simplicity, security and value in IT infrastructures. We can offer the features they need for the performance necessary to survive in today’s ever-shifting and ever-quickening business climate. But most importantly, it allows them to compete at a price that they can finally afford.

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