The small business IT Growth Monitor increased five points from October to 54, a record high since December 2007.
The budding recovery in IT investment that started to take shape in
2010 appears to be heading for an uptick in 2011 as small businesses
report a positive outlook on IT investment for their organizations.
According to the latest CDW IT Monitor, which has been tracking IT
sentiment since the beginning of the recession in 2007, 49 percent of
IT decision makers at small businesses expect to replace or install new
hardware in the next six months, up 10 percentage points from the
October IT Monitor.
The confidence level among small businesses was also echoed in the
medium business segment. Ninety percent of IT decision makers at
midsize businesses expect to purchase new hardware in the next six
also up 10 percentage points since October 2010. The small business IT
Growth Monitor, which measures IT investment expectations, increased
five points from October to 54, a record high since December 2007.
Rising growth expectations among SMBs (small and midsize businesses)
are influencing sentiment across the entire corporate sector, according
to the report, despite a leveling-off in the large business sector,
which showed greater optimism earlier in 2010. Three-quarters or more
of overall corporate IT decision makers anticipate replacing or
installing hardware (75 percent) or software (78 percent) in the next
six months-a record high in the corporate sector since the launch of
the IT Monitor in December 2007.
In addition, the report found 61 percent of IT decision makers at small
businesses anticipate replacing or installing new software in the next
six months. However, the outlook for IT staffing is not keeping pace
with investment expectations: Eight percent of corporate IT decision
makers expect to cut IT staff in the next six months, up three
percentage points from October 2010.
"As the economic climate improves, investing in technology will be
critical for organizations seeking to increase productivity," said
Thomas Richards, president and COO for CDW. "Focusing on the IT refresh
cycle and upgrading existing technology clearly is taking immediate
precedence with decision makers over increasing IT staffing in the near
The CDW IT Monitor was created by CDW, and independent polling firm
Richard Day Research conducted research and analysis. Decision makers
are invited from two large national panels of IT decision makers built
and maintained by E-Rewards and Survey Sampling International. Data
reported in this release are based on a survey of 1,056 IT decision
makers conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6, 2010.
At the center of the CDW IT Monitor is an index number, which
registered an initial benchmark reading of 69 in December 2007. Results
are calculated on a scale of 0-100, with 100 indicating the highest
level of confidence. In terms of government sentiment, the optimism
among corporate IT decision makers is not as strong in the public
sector. The IT Growth Monitor, which measures anticipated IT
investment, fell four points in the federal government sector to 69,
the lowest reading of 2010.
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.