Small businesses are often likened to an engine that provides power to drive our global economy. When you consider that roughly 88% of businesses in the U.S. have fewer than 20 employees, and that almost two thirds of new jobs created in the country are positions at small businesses, the impact and importance of these companies is clear.
The Small Business Administration estimates that there are over 30 million small businesses in the US alone. Perhaps surprisingly, these businesses contribute a significant amount to the nation’s exports, generating roughly 50% of America’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Employing roughly 60 million people – or 50% of the private workforce – small businesses in the U.S. are also enormously important to the overall health of the economy. Even in terms of job creation over the past 20 years, small businesses were notably responsible for 9.6 million net new jobs, compared to large organizations, which created just 5.2 million jobs.
Common pain points
Despite their importance to the economy, small businesses are, by nature, extremely fragmented, and often need to overcome a multitude of issues not faced by their larger counterparts. In many instances, small business owners and their employees are forced to wear multiple hats, with responsibilities stretching from sales and communications to HR and IT management.
Here are just a few of the many pain points that may sound familiar to small business owners:
- No dedicated IT staff to help troubleshoot network, application and device problems
- A lack of budget to purchase competitive, best-of-breed customer engagement platforms
- Little consistency in device or software choices, leading to haphazard device management
- Poor planning for long-term device obsolescence and security (often just waiting for a device to break)
- Not knowing when a breach or hack has occurred, often for weeks or months if at all
- Challenges managing payroll
- Frustrated employees due to poor user experience
- Limited plans for back-up and disaster recovery
Built for agility
Although there is no single product or solution that can fix every small business’s pain points, a platform like NetMotion can certainly help alleviate many of them. Whether it’s the ability to give agile and distributed employees secure, remote access to company data, or to protect that data from prying eyes on public networks, NetMotion’s approach to zero trust takes the guesswork out of protecting employees, their devices, and the data they need. NetMotion is also one of the only solutions on the market designed from the ground up to actually improve user experience and give anyone in IT granular policy controls and insight into device, application and network issues.
With its roots in enterprise VPN technology, NetMotion also delivers built-in data compression and encryption, making it especially useful for mobile employees using unreliable or slow Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This results in a persistent connection that keeps applications stable even when the network drops out.
Moving to the cloud
Although SaaS and other cloud-based subscription services may not be the cheapest option for a business, they do have several clear benefits.
One of the most notable advantages is the fact that cloud-based tools generally don’t need any manual software updates. Small businesses often have a very hard time keeping track of all of their devices, let alone knowing the state of their OS and applications. So, having that process automated in the cloud is a huge plus.
Using a combination of SaaS applications and having data hosted in the cloud can also bring a lot of flexibility and scalability to business operations. This helps to standardize applications across disparate devices and greatly reduces the need for dedicated hardware and software that can be costly to maintain, and often keeps users locked into an expensive ecosystem.
The ROI of switching to NetMotion
As with most things, it’s always a good idea to have as much information as possible about the overall features, cost and potential cost savings that a new product can bring to a business. In an ideal world we would be able to try or evaluate every product that we deploy, but that in itself can be very time-consuming and disruptive to existing workflows. The next best thing is being able to try an online calculator.
That’s where the NetMotion impact calculator comes in. It is a new tool, tailored to provide ROI figures for organizations of every size, showing various costs savings and productivity gains due to less downtime and troubleshooting requirements. As with everything, mileage will vary based on any number of parameters.
Anyone wanting to try the calculator needs just a few pieces of information, such as the number of employees, the types of tools currently being used (e.g. firewall, VPN, etc.), and the category of the organization, such as manufacturing or healthcare, etc. From there, the calculator provides a ballpark estimate of the cost and, more importantly, the potential savings each company can gain, broken down by productivity gains, IT savings and reduced expenditure on servers, hardware and utilities.
We have found that, in ballpark figures, every $1 spent on NetMotion results in savings for the business of anywhere between $8 – $12. That’s an incredibly bold claim, and mileage will of course vary, but these are results borne out by years of experience working with enterprises of every size.
In the example below, the estimated costs and savings are based on a company with 25 employees that uses a firewall, a secure web gateway and WAN optimization. So for a cost of $6,000 per year, a company of this size could expect to save over $70,000 in IT costs, hardware and utility costs, and productivity savings and improvements.
SMBs have a lot on their plates. With NetMotion, the hassle of managing security and access policies for mobile employees will be far easier, safer and more cost-effective.
If you’re interested in seeing how much your organization can potentially save by switching to NetMotion, try the calculator here.