LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - May 8, 2012) - Today at the Interop IT Expo and Conference, Spiceworks™, Inc., the world's largest social business network for IT, released the results of its bi-annual State of SMB IT survey of technology purchasing and adoption trends among small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). According to the survey results, SMBs are continuing to expand IT budgets, which now average $152,000 per year. The research also finds that SMBs across the board are increasingly adopting tablets, cloud services and virtualization, but they are divided on support for the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend.
Twice a year, the Spiceworks State of SMB IT survey investigates the latest technology purchasing, usage and staffing trends among companies with less than 1,000 employees. This survey of 1,498 IT professionals in 100 countries was conducted during the first quarter of 2012 via the Spiceworks Voice of IT® market insights program. The majority (62 percent) of IT pros surveyed are from companies with 20-249 employees.
Survey highlights include:
IT budgets continue to increase, while new hiring holds steady
- Overall IT budgets at SMBs continue to increase, growing six percent in the first half of 2012 from the second half of 2011, and 15 percent year-over-year. The average annual IT budget for SMBs now stands at $152,000, up from the $143,000 previously reported for the second half of 2011 and the $132,000 reported for the first half of 2011.
- Fifty-six percent of SMBs are retaining their IT headcount and 30 percent intend to hire additional staff over the next six months. These metrics remain consistent with the results from the second half of 2011.
Tablet purchases and planned deployments rise, while new hardware grabs majority of IT investment dollars
- Sixty-two percent of SMBs have deployed or plan to deploy tablet devices, such as iPads, within the next six months. That figure is up from the 50 percent reported for the second half of 2011.
- The largest portion of IT budgets (40 percent) will be allocated to hardware purchases, followed by software (34 percent) and IT services (26 percent). Among planned hardware purchases, new desktops (93 percent) and laptops (80 percent) top the list, while anti-virus/anti-spam (61 percent) and backup/recovery (53 percent) are the most popular planned software purchases. The two biggest planned IT services purchases are web hosting (54 percent) and ISP (44 percent).
Cloud services and virtualization adoption continues upward trend, but at a slower rate
- Cloud services are now used by 48 percent of SMBs, up from 46 percent in the second half of 2011 and 28 percent for the first half of 2011.
- The top five cloud services by usage are web hosting (49 percent), e-mail hosting (32 percent), data backup (25 percent) content filtering (24 percent) and application hosting (23 percent). The top cloud services respondents plan to purchase in the next six months are data backup (17 percent), application hosting (12 percent), data storage (12 percent), and e-mail hosting (11 percent).
- While virtualization adoption showed signs of slowing, SMBs are virtualizing more applications than before. Currently, 64 percent use virtualization, up from 61 percent during the second half of 2011 and the 54 percent reported for the first half of 2011. In addition, SMBs using virtualization are now virtualizing an average of 3.1 applications compared with an average of 2.1 applications a year ago.
BYOD trend impacts SMB IT departments
- Seventy-five percent of SMBs currently help manage and support the personal devices employees bring into the workplace. iPhones, Android phones and iPads are the most popular devices, with 60 percent of respondents supporting iPhones, 55 percent supporting Android phones, and 41 percent supporting iPads.
- IT professionals at SMBs are split on supporting BYOD. While 20 percent fully embrace the trend as the future, 35 percent concede that it works well for some devices, but not for others, 25 percent claim it's a headache for their IT department, and the remaining 20 percent have not yet formed an opinion.
"Data from this recent survey confirms that the consumerization of IT is flourishing among SMBs, although opinions vary on how to manage its impact on organizations," said Jay Hallberg, co-founder and vice president of Marketing for Spiceworks. "The results also show that SMBs are spending more on technology across the board, from hardware and devices, to cloud services and virtualization. This bodes well for technology vendors serving the SMB market in 2012."
The State of SMB IT survey included 1,498 respondents from around the world. Forty-seven percent of respondents were from North America, 33 percent from EMEA, 15 percent from Asia-Pacific, and 4 percent from Latin America. Those surveyed work in organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees and are among the more than 1.9 million SMB IT professionals who use Spiceworks to manage their computer networks. For more information on this survey and for a complete list of survey results, visit http://www.spiceworks.com/voice-of-it.
To receive updates on future research, follow Spiceworks Voice of IT® on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/VoiceOfIT or @VoiceOfIT, and sign up for Spiceworks Voice of IT® research e-mails at email@example.com.
Spiceworks™, the world's largest social business network for IT, connects 1.9 million IT professionals with more than 900 technology brands. By combining a Facebook-like community with free IT management software, Spiceworks helps businesses to discover, buy and manage more than $300 billion worth of technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Tenaya Capital, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Austin Ventures and Shasta Ventures. For more information visit http://www.spiceworks.com.
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Spiceworks is a trademark and Voice of IT is a registered trademark of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.