A new AMI-Partners study, “Enterprise Applications in the US Small, Medium and Large Business Markets- Market Segmentation Report” finds that U.S. SMBs significantly lag the U.S. Large Businesses (LBs) in adoption of Enterprise Software Applications. Among Small Businesses (SBs), penetration (or usage) of CRM applications stands at 5% compared to 12% among Medium Businesses (MBs) and rising to 54% among LBs. For ERP/SCM applications, penetration stands at 3% for SBs and increases to 11% among MBs and reaches 60% among LBs.
Even among “enterprise adopter” or Tier 1 SMBs-those SMBs that view IT most strategically–adoption of enterprise software solutions remains relatively modest with only 12% Tier 1 SBs, and 25% of Tier 1 MBs using CRM/SFA solutions, and just 4% of such SBs and 20% of such Tier 1 MBs using ERP/SCM solutions. Using AMI-Partners’ proprietary segmentation model, this report identifies and analyzes SBs and MBs across all countries into four distinctive tiers based on IT behavior, adoption, needs and attitudes for customer targeting, product positioning and focused offerings. The four tiers include:
Tier 1 (Enterprise adopters): view IT solutions similarly to large enterprise counterparts, integrate IT within their corporate and business strategy, drive lion’s share of IT spending, and deploy IT solutions to drive growth and optimize costs;
Tier 2 (Cutting Edge adopters): embrace new IT solutions to optimize productivity, but lack resources needed to deploy full scale solutions;
Tier 3 (Value for-the-money adopters): implement information technology solutions after others have proven their effectiveness, with a relentless focus on costs.
Tier 4 (Needs help adopters): employ IT solutions only at the threat of losing customers or suppliers, and remain in a denial mode vis-‡-vis adoption till faced with no other option.
The report reveals that many SMBs see the strategic value of improving business process, but most are yet to be convinced that enterprise software will help them actualize this goal. The report also indicates that SB and MB perceptions and needs for enterprise software differ by tier, and suppliers should align offerings, marketing and channels programs accordingly.