IDC researchers predicted U.S. SMBs would spend more than $125 billion on advanced technology in 2011.
Despite persisting economic
challenges, small and midsize business IT spending growth has returned more
rapidly than expected since the recession officially ended in 2009. Access to
credit is still limited and firms remain reluctant to add new employees, but
emerging technologies are disrupting established patterns of IT acquisition,
and the nearly 8 million SMBs in the United States will spend more than $125
billion on advanced technology in 2011, according to a new report from IDC.
U.S. SMBs will spend more
than $125 billion on advanced technology in 2011, an increase from
approximately $120 billion in 2010, IDC researchers predict. These two years of
spending growth represent a substantial rebound from 2009, when SMB IT spending
declined by 4.2 percent.
SMBs are responding to
today's new economic realities in distinct ways and, in many cases, adapting
differently from large enterprises: Although the small-business segment has
traditionally shown higher IT spending growth, that pattern was broken in the
past two years as smaller firms were more adversely affected by the economic
downturn. That noted, the small, lower-midsize and upper-midsize segments will
each continue to make a significant contribution to total SMB spending, though
upper-midsize firms will have the highest rate of spending growth in 2011.
Notebook PCs will continue
to be the form factor of choice and will represent a larger share of total PC
shipments into the SMB market than desktops, the report said. In 2015, the
number of SMBs with notebooks will approach 4.7 million.
IDC researchers also
predicted the number of SMBs with LANs would exceed 4.5 million in 2015, as
even smaller businesses look to connect their users' PCs. The declining price
of entry-level hardware will drive server acquisition in small firms as
virtualization solutions motivate midsize firms to upgrade and consolidate
their environments, IDC researchers noted.
"SMBs account for an
increasing share of overall corporate IT spending in the U.S.," said
Justin Jaffe, senior research analyst for small/medium-sized business and home
office research at IDC. "Vendors that understand how changing economic
conditions and emerging technologies are affecting IT acquisition for different
company size segments will have a considerable advantage in developing and
marketing technology products and services for SMBs."
In the report, "U.S. Small
and Medium-Sized Business 2011-2015 Forecast: The Return to Spending Growth
Drives Investment in Key Infrastructure Categories," total spending is
presented for 2011-2015, with the baseline year of 2010, and subtotals are
provided for small businesses (less than 100 employees), lower-midsize
companies (100-499 employees) and upper midsize companies (500-999 employees).
The study also forecasts the
total number of small and midsize businesses, with detail for each of IDC's
eight SMB company size sub-segments, as well as the ownership of key technology
categories, including notebook PCs, LANs and server-based LANs.
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.