Spiceworks, Inc., a global IT community, announced the results of its bi-annual State of SMB IT survey. The results reveal a 7% increase in SMB IT budgets in the second half of 2012, up from the first half of this year. However, respondents also reported a 4% decline among those planning to hire new IT staff.
The survey further underscores how the rise of tablet devices and cloud services are prompting SMB IT departments to consider purchasing and supporting new technologies over the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, and how those technologies will impact their existing environments.
The Spiceworks State of SMB IT survey is conducted twice annually to investigate the latest technology purchasing, usage and staffing trends among companies with less than 1,000 employees. The survey of 1,356 IT professionals in 100 countries was conducted during the third quarter of 2012 through Spiceworks' Voice of IT® market insights program.
Survey highlights include:
IT Budgets Continue to Grow, While Hiring Plans Stall
Tablet Adoption Among SMBs Sustains Rapid Growth
- IT budgets at SMBs are rising, growing 7% since the first half of 2012. The average annual SMB IT budget is $162,000, up from $152,000 reported in May. SMBs with 1-20 employees spend $1,900 per employee on technology, more than twice the $700 per employee organizations with more than 250 employees spend
- Hardware purchases such as laptops, desktops, servers and storage devices continue to account for the largest share of SMB IT budgets at 40%, followed by software at 34% and IT services at 26%.
- Only 26% of SMBs plan to hire IT staff in the second half of 2012, a 4% decline from earlier this year.
Adoption of Cloud Services Spikes and Desktop Virtualization Shows Strong Potential
- Fifty-three percent of SMB respondents support company-issued tablets on their network, with an additional 12% planning support during the first half of 2013. Among those IT departments, 85% support Apple iPad devices, while 59% support Android-based tablets.
- Only two-and-a-half years since the original Apple iPad was introduced, the acceleration of company-issued tablets has started to close the gap previously seen between tablets and smartphones. Smartphones are currently issued and supported by 59% of SMBs, with an additional 12% planning to support smartphones in the first half of next year.
BYOD Continues to Prove Popular Despite IT Hesitations
- Cloud services are now used by 62% of SMB IT departments, up 35% y/y. During the first half of 2013, 73% of SMBs anticipate using cloud services. Web hosting, email hosting and data backup/recovery solutions are the most popular cloud-based services.
- For the first time, the State of SMB IT study evaluated the adoption of desktop virtualization. Twenty-three percent of SMBs have currently deployed desktop virtualization, and an additional 16% plan to adopt in the first half of 2013.
- Server virtualization has become a pervasive technology within SMB IT departments. Nearly two-thirds of SMBs have deployed a virtualization solution, and adoption is expected to accelerate in the first half of 2013 by an additional 14%.
- Fifty-nine percent of SMB respondents have a BYOD initiative and support employee-owned computers, tablets or smartphones on their network. Among these, 87% support Apple iPad devices, while 79% support Android-based tablets. Meanwhile, 86% support Apple iPhones, and 88% support Android-based smartphones.
- SMB IT professionals remain split on supporting BYOD. The survey finds that 14% of SMBs fully embrace the trend, 32% report that it works well for some devices, but not for others, 24% claim it's a headache for their IT department, and the remaining 30% have not formed an opinion.
- Notably, SMBs with less than 20 employees are most likely to fully embrace BYOD with nearly three-quarters highlighting an ongoing initiative.
The State of SMB IT survey included 1,356 respondents from around the world. Sixty-two% of respondents were from North America, 23% from EMEA, 12% from Asia-Pacific, and 3% from Latin America. Those surveyed work in organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees and are among the more than 2.2 million SMB IT professionals in the Spiceworks Community.