The report found 50 percent of SMBs have deployed or plan to deploy tablets, such as iPads, within the next six months.
A study issued by IT management software specialist Spiceworks
revealed that small and midsize businesses continue to embrace advanced
technology-including tablet computers, cloud services and
virtualization technology-at a rapid pace. According to the results of
the company's State of SMB IT survey, nearly half of SMBs have adopted
tablet computers and cloud services, while IT budgets for the second
half of 2011 saw the greatest jump in more than two years.
The report found 50 percent of SMBs have deployed or plan to deploy
tablet devices, such as iPads, within the next six months, and noted
adoption of cloud services continues to rise rapidly among SMBs, while
virtualization is still their top IT initiative. Cloud services are now
used by 46 percent of SMBs, a significant rise over the 28 percent that
reported using cloud services in the first half of 2011 and the 14
percent that reported doing so mid-year 2010.
Virtualization continues to dominate the SMB market, the survey
found. Currently, 61 percent of midmarket businesses use
virtualization, which is up from the 54 percent that reported using
virtualization during the first half of 2011. In addition, IT budgets
saw the largest increase in two years as SMBs continue to add IT staff.
Overall IT budgets in the second half of 2011 grew 9 percent when
compared with IT budgets for the first half of 2011-the largest
increase in two years.
The average annual IT budget for SMBs now stands at $143,000, up
from the $132,000 previously reported for the first half of 2011.
Nearly one in three SMBs, or 31 percent, plan to hire IT staff-which is
consistent with data Spiceworks reported for the first half of 2011.
"Despite market fluctuations, 2011 proved to be a great year for
disruptive technologies as SMBs increasingly adopted tablet computers,
cloud services and virtualization technology," said Jay Hallberg,
co-founder and vice president of marketing for Spiceworks. "The results
of our most recent survey show SMBs making similar strategic technology
investments with expanded budgets-pointing to a stronger market for IT
products and services among small and mid-sized businesses in 2012."
The Spiceworks State of SMB IT survey is a semi-annual global study
that investigates the latest technology purchasing, usage and staffing
trends among companies with less than 1,000 employees. The study of
1,200 IT professionals was conducted during the fall of 2011 via the
Spiceworks Voice of IT Market Research Program.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.