Technology Spending to Increase Over the Next Year
Technology spending is on the rise for small- and mid-size businesses, according to new research.
In a study conducted by CompTIA, the nonprofit trade association for the information technology industry, seven out of 10 small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) said they expect to increase their technology spending over the next year. For nearly a third of those businesses, spending will increase by at least 10 percent, with an average of slightly more than 5 percent.
Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis for CompTIA, said that although small businesses lack the bigger budgets of large firms, technology plays just as critical a role in the life of those companies — making it important that small businesses make wise investments in that area.
“Technology is more accessible, more affordable and more available to SMBs than ever before,” Robinson said in a prepared release. “The majority is willing to spend money on new technologies, especially solutions that give them capabilities on par with a larger enterprise."
Desires for better network efficiencies and robustness, enhanced resource management and tracking and more business analytics are driving plans for additional spending over the next 12 months, the survey determined.
In addition, the desire to become more mobile — for both customer interactions and employee productivity — also was found to play a major role in budgeting decisions.
For medium-size businesses with between 100 and 499 employees, the survey showed 42 percent currently have technologies in place — tablets, laptops, smartphones and other devices — that allow them to interact with customers and give employees access to applications, data and networks in a mobile environment. Another 33 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months. For small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, 25 percent use mobile solutions, with another 43 percent expecting to start in the next year, the study showed.
The trend is similarly visible in "micro businesses" (those with fewer than 10 employees); the research revealed 12 percent of those businesses use mobile solutions, with that number expected to grow to 22 percent by next year.
Additionally, small- and medium-size businesses reported overwhelmingly positive experiences with cloud-based services.
According to the survey, 92 percent of firms said their experience with the cloud has been positive or very positive, and 97 percent reported their move to the cloud produced the desired result, with cost and flexibility most frequently cited as benefits.
Nearly one-third of small- and medium-size businesses have adopted cloud computing technology, the study revealed, with another 35 percent planning to do so in the next year.
The main uses are storage and backup solutions (71 percent); email (62 percent); document management (59 percent); collaboration (56 percent); and customer relationship management (53 percent).
CompTIA’s "Third Annual Small and Medium Business Technology Adoptions Trends" study is based on a survey of 602 IT and business professionals in small- and medium-size businesses in the United States.