High-Performance Computing: Backlog in SMBs
Banbury, April 13, 2015 - The small to medium-sized enterprise community could profit significantly from high-performance computing systems. However for some reason this sector ignores HPC: according to a study conducted by the HPC specialists transtec, only a minority of enterprises have shown interest in this subject.
In a survey of 254 IT administrators in professional technical companies with 1 to 1,000 employees, transtec found that only 5% of SMBs use High- Performance Computing (HPC).
The lack of interest in these systems is in stark contradiction to the potential advantages they offer as SMBs could significantly improve their competitiveness using HPC solutions, and in the future, HPC systems will probably prove indispensable in small to medium-sized enterprises. Data volumes are growing so fast in all industries that it will soon be difficult for conventional systems to analyse this amount of data. In future, high-performance HPC systems will be essential if we want to extract practical and useful findings from this data volume - in other words big data; and this development will also be witnessed by even the smallest of enterprises.
A lack of innovation can also be seen in small to medium-sized enterprises:
the economic uncertainty in large parts of Europe has led to the fact that increasingly less businesses are investing in new products or processes; in this way they are jeopardizing their competitiveness. In fact, they could drastically reduce the time-to-market as well as development costs of all products by deploying HPC solutions, especially as prices in the HPC environment are falling: increasingly more systems are based on standardised, comparatively cost-effective hardware which means they are no longer restricted to large companies with abundant IT budgets.
Despite the attractive combination of optimum benefits and affordable prices for SMBs, only 10% of the IT administrators surveyed had even heard of the term "HPC". The survey revealed that the smaller the business, the less chance it had encountered the subject of high-performance computing.
Although 15% of companies with 51 employees and more recognised the term, only 6% of engineering offices or mechanical engineering companies with up to 50 employees were aware of HPC. A total of just 25% of those surveyed knew that high-performance computing systems can be used by SMBs or can even be customised to their needs.
The application of HPC systems increases in relation to the size of the
company: Over 9% of companies with 201 employees or more indicated that they used HPC systems; this figure dropped to approximately 3% among companies with 11 to 200 employees and from the smallest enterprises with up to 10 employees, not one of them used a HPC solution. The average amongst all company sizes was just 5.1%.
The remaining 94.9% of companies said they did not use a HPC solution or did not know what it was. However only 12% of companies complained of too long response times for intensive computing applications, with the presumption that faster solutions are not in fact required. "We were surprised by this low percentage", Dr. Oliver Tennert, Director of HPC solutions at transtec explains. "We can only explain it in these terms: on the one hand, users have got used to the slow pace of their computing systems and now find them adequate. On the other hand, only a few companies have shown interest in the analysis of big data or deploy cutting-edge software solutions for simulations or development purposes, both of which require significantly more computing capacity. This especially applies to smaller enterprises".
A clear correlation could be established here: with companies employing up to 500 workers, approximately 9% of those surveyed admitted that their systems were too slow for data-intensive applications. However three times that amount, approximately 31% of companies with 501 employees or more complained of a lack of speed.
"The small to medium-sized enterprise community was always the backbone of the UK economy". However in the international environment, product cycles are becoming increasingly shorter, production costs are dropping and the competitive pressure is drastically increasing", explains Tennert, "small to medium-sized businesses cannot afford to rely on their old virtues, they have to embrace innovation and take on a leadership role in terms of technologies, processes and product quality. However the SMB community must be aware that the future will be difficult to imagine without high- performance computing systems and intelligent software. The good news:
these types of systems have become affordable even for the smallest enterprises".
The IT service provider transtec Computers Ltd. offers unique IT expertise based on the combination of its manufacturer, system house and High Performance Computing (HPC) competence. transtec delivers client-specific solutions, a broad service portfolio and fulfils the highest security standards with its Cloud. Customers include public institutions as well as companies from different branches. The market-listed company has offices in the Benelux states, Germany, France and Switzerland and generated a revenue of 44,6 million Euros in 2015. www.transtec.co.uk