SMB budgets on the up and up, spent on end-user devices and cloud

Small businesses are injecting $30,000 more on average into their IT budgets, compared to six months ago. That puts the typically IT budget at $192,000, according to a new survey.

The findings come from a semi-annual report released Wednesday by Spiceworks Inc., a Texas-based networking software firm. Spiceworks polled 1,000 IT professionals around the world, hailing from companies with less than 1,000 employees each. You can download the full report here.

While we can’t draw exact parallels between what’s happening within SMBs all over the world versus the ones here at home in Canada, the information does give us a snapshot of general trends in the small to mid-sized (SMB) space. Here are some of the survey highlights:

In its research, Spiceworks outlined the state of SMBs in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia, finding SMBs with less than 250 employees are getting the biggest boosts to their budgets, while SMBs larger than that are actually showing a decline. Yet most of these companies aren’t hiring – only 22 per cent plan on adding more staff in the next six months. Instead, most of their budgets are going towards buying new end-user hardware and paying for cloud-based IT services.

It also found SMBs are embracing cloud services, with about 60 per cent of survey respondents using them. Spiceworks indicated smaller SMBs were more likely to be using cloud services, as well as using a greater number of them.

(Image: Spiceworks - showing rates of cloud adoption among SMBs)
(Image: Spiceworks – showing rates of cloud adoption among SMBs)

In terms of virtualization, 72 per cent of respondents said they were using server virtualization, up seven per cent from the second half of 2012, with another 80 per cent said they were planning to use server virtualization within the next six months. Larger SMBs were more likely candidates to jump on the trend than smaller ones.

Spiceworks also gauged the number of mobile devices being brought into the workplace. Among SMBs, 59 per cent of survey respondents said they have tablets connected to the corporate network, and 70 per cent said they expect to be tablet-friendly in the second half of 2013. SMBs using smartphones as part of a “bring your own device” policy were at 60 per cent, with SMBs of all sizes predicting they’ll probably bring in more in the next six months.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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