IT Budgets Rise 15 Percent for SMBs

Spiceworks, a social network for the IT community and a provider of a provider of IT management software, has released its bi-annual State of SMB IT survey of technology purchasing and adoption trends.

The survey revealed that SMBs are expanding their IT budgets, growing 6 percent in the first half of 2012 from the second half of 2011, and 15 percent year-over year. The research found that SMBs are adopting tablets, cloud services and virtualization and have some strong opinions on the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. 


"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," says 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." 

A few more highlights from the survey include the following:

- 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.

- 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). The two biggest planned IT services purchases are web hosting (54 percent) and ISP (44 percent).

- 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 that 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).

- Currently, 64 percent of respondents 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.