March 31, 2011 – Considerable growth among information technology budgets and staff was uncovered by recent research by Spiceworks Inc., a social business network for IT among small and midsized businesses. Cloud services usage, virtualization adoption also show signs of growth.
These trends were uncovered in the most recent Spiceworks State of SMB IT technology survey, a global study of more than 3,000 IT professionals investigating the latest technology trends among SMBs with fewer than 1,000 employees. The survey was conducted in January and February 2011.
The study showed that IT budgets in 2011 grew 8 percent compared the second half of 2010 – the largest increase in more than 18 months. Other signs of expansion include nearly 31 percent planning to hire IT staff. Of companies with less than 20 employees, 33 percent are planning to increase IT staff compared to only 17 percent of companies with 20 employees or more.
Cloud services are now used by 28 percent of SMBs, compared to mid-year 2010 (14 percent). By mid-2011, says Spiceworks, cloud usage among SMBs is expected to rise to 42 percent. In addition, 26 percent of SMB IT budgets are earmarked for hosted and cloud services.
Almost one in three SMBs (30 percent) plan to change the way data is stored, moving more data to the cloud. By mid-2011, SMBs who plan to change the way they store data will triple their online/hosted/cloud storage usage from 3 to 9 percent.
Virtualization is gaining, with 54 percent of SMB respondents currently using virtualization and another 20 percent planning to use virtualization by midyear 2011. Among SMBs currently using virtualization, 54 percent are putting core apps in virtual environments. Virtualization is the number one planned new software purchase among SMBs, with 25 percent planning a new virtualization software purchase.
"Small businesses are responsible for half of all IT spending," said Jay Halberg, co-founder and vice president of Marketing for Spiceworks. "All signs point to a good year for the IT industry as SMBs around the world significantly boost investments in technology products and services as well as staffing."
The report “State of SMB IT” is available here.
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