July 6 - IBM today released results of a study revealing that midsized companies will lead growth out of the economic downturn by focusing more on their IT strategies.

According to the study results, midsized companies know they need to work smarter and leaner, but overall are surprisingly undaunted by the economic downturn. With companies of 500 or fewer employees generating 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade, small and midsized businesses are one of the most likely engines to lead the economy back to growth.

Despite the current economic environment, 53 percent report that IT budgets are actually increasing (14 percent) or remaining the same but with changing priorities (39 percent). Ten percent report no change, while 37 percent are reducing their budget.

The highest-priority technology solution is managing information. Improving efficiency is a key priority at 83 percent of midsized companies. Enhancing customer service and prospecting for new customers are also high on the priority list (74 percent). Close to three out of four study participants giving high priority to improving their ability to predict market trends.

“Midmarket organizations openly acknowledge the challenges posed by the current economy, but they aren’t paralyzed into inaction. They are continuing to spend and plan against their key IT projects to support their business goals,” said Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Midmarket in the release.

Midmarket companies are also pursuing emerging technology areas to improve performance. The survey shows that 79 percent intend to implement or have started to implement green IT solutions, followed closely by social media/Web 2.0 (71 percent) and cloud computing (69 percent).

The “Inside the Midmarket: A 2009 Perspective” study surveyed 1,879 business and IT decision makers in 17 countries in April-May on behalf of IBM for insights into their business plans and challenges, growth/innovation strategies, IT purchasing trends and industry-specific pain points.

Read a recent Information Management in-depth exclusive article on information management trends here.

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