IDC released their latest SMB IT spending forecast for 2010- 2014. Despite a $17.4B spending increase in 2010, SMBs are not expected to return to 2008 spending level before 2011.
“The downturn had a devastating impact on SMBs worldwide,” said Ray Boggs, vice president, Small/Medium Business and Home Office Research at IDC. “Moving forward, small businesses will not follow the past pattern and return to pre-recessions spending levels more quickly than midsize firms. Instead, SMBs of all sizes will remain cautious with their IT spending over the next several years.”
So, the real question is why will they not return to pre-recession spending levels?
Let’s test a theory.
With limited budget and small IT staff, SMBs have always been smart about their IT spending. What’s really different is their expectations of technology. For the longest time, technology vendors have approached the SMB market with stripped down enterprise products that did not fit their unique needs, and ended up in costly infrastructure and maintenance nightmares. The success of SMBs lies in their ability to attract new customers and deliver unique value. That’s exactly what they’ll expect from technology in 2010 and beyond. Technology needs to provide them with the tools to be more productive, more integrated and social. Storage is no different. SMBs will look at ways to consolidate storage and administration tasks, while increasing data availability. While unified storage solutions, cloud-based data backup/archiving solutions will grow in 2010, expect pressure to mount on technology vendors to deliver on their promises.