Small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. will spend more on peripherals and PCs—particularly notebooks and tablets—than large enterprises in 2012, part of some $138 billion the segment is expected to expend on technology for the year, according to researcher International Data Corp.
U.S. SMB spending on packaged software will total about $50 billion, more than one-third of total expenditures by the segment, followed by services at $38 billion, IDC said.
"SMBs will account for an increasing share of overall corporate IT spending in the U.S.," said Justin Jaffe, IDC research manager, Small/Medium-Sized Business and Home Business.
IT spending by U.S. SMBs, or businesses of fewer than 1,000 employees, is forecast to continue to edge back from the severe dips of 2008 and 2009, accounting for about 25 percent of worldwide technology expenditures by the segment in 2012, the researcher said in a new report, entitled “U.S. Small and Medium-Sized Business 2012–2016 Forecast: Sizing the SMB Markets for PCs and Peripherals, Systems and Storage, Networking Equipment, Packaged Software, and IT Services.”
AS a group, the approximate 8 million U.S. SMBs will account for 10 percent of all IT spending worldwide in 2012, IDC said.
Although U.S. SMB spending on servers and storage is projected to remain sound, the impact of virtualization will slow the growth of the server installed base, IDC said. Networking purchases by U.S. SMBs is forecast to account for the smallest share of the segment’s spending.
How SMBs allocate IT expenditures illustrates significant differences in spending priorities between the segment and larger enterprises, IDC said. For example, IT services expenditures, which account for slightly more than 25 percent of U.S. SMB spending, is far greater among large enterprises, amounting to nearly half of all IT spending.
Similarly, more than one third of SMBs have yet to deploy networks at the same time as large businesses are investing millions in next-generation datacenters and networking infrastructure, IDC said. The researcher expects SMB spending on software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing and unified communications to remain relatively low through 2016.
"Vendors that are sensitive to the changing dynamics in SMB technology requirements as well as the critical differences in the ways SMBs and large enterprises approach IT investment will be best positioned for success in 2012 and beyond," said Jaffe.