IT Budgets at SMBs Up a Smidgen in 2H10, Survey Finds
September 27, 2010 Alex Woodie
Despite the continued poor economic conditions, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are growing their IT budgets, albeit slowly, according to a new survey from IT management software vendor Spiceworks. SMBs increased their IT spending plans by 4 percent over the last six months, the survey found. Much of the increase will go to upgrading existing servers and adopting promising new technologies. Few plan to hire more IT staff.
According to Spiceworks’ bi-annual “Voice of IT” market research program, the budget freeze is slowly melting at SMBs, which the company defines as companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. The survey found that total annual IT spending ticked up slightly to $122,000 for the average SMB. That compared to $117,000 when Spiceworks asked the same question about six months ago, and $108,000 in the first survey a year ago.
The biggest chunk of the SMB IT budget pie goes to hardware (42 percent), while software will account for 35 percent, and IT services at 23 percent makes up the remainder. Server consolidation, OS upgrades, and implementation of virtualization technologies accounted for some of the biggest hardware-related projects at place in SMBs. Investment in antivirus and antispam software accounted for the biggest chunk of software purchases; backup and recovery software was number two.
The budget purse strings are loosening at SMBs in regard to IT, but little of that money is going to people, the survey found. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents plan to keep their IT staffs the same size for the rest of 2010, while 4 percent plan to reduce IT staff. The good news is that 20 percent of respondents to Spiceworks’ survey plan to increase staffing levels. The bad news is that this percentage hasn’t changed significantly from earlier this year.
Spiceworks began its Voice of IT program a year ago and included more than 3,000 respondents in its latest survey, which was conducted in July and August. Spiceworks uses its user base of over a million customers to conduct its survey, which is now in its third edition.
Austin, Texas-based Spiceworks develops and distributes network management software and related tools, such as change management, help desk, identity management, and network mapping software. The company, which gives away all of its software (and can support IBM i logs with its software via SNMP), was founded in 2006 with the goal of making IT management easy and fun, like iTunes. It’s backed by $28 million in venture capital from Shasta Ventures and Austin Ventures.
For more information or to sample Spiceworks’ “Voice of IT” research menu, see its Web site at www.spiceworks.com.