SMBs are Buying and Hiring IT

Thursday, September 17, 2009
Posted by John Beagle
Photo: More SMBs are needing IT hardware and support in the field.

by John Beagle

SMBs are expecting to spend 37 percent of their annual budgets refreshing and expanding physical infrastructure according to a new study by Spiceworks

The good news is that 22 percent of SMBs plan to hire full or part time IT staff while only 3 percent plan to reduce staff over the next six months. That is a net gain of 19% new jobs in the IT sector.

Even better news,  the recession in IT may be over. Since the begining of 2009, 39 percent of SMBs cut 2009 budgets from 2008 levels. The average cut was 22 percent, 31 percent kept budgets the same, and 30 percent actually grew their budgets this year by 27 percent. 

Best yet, the bad news may be over! So far in 2009, 60 percent of SMBs delayed or canceled at least one project. But the new numbers going forward are much more optimistic.

51 percent are planning new software purchases. Security and anti-spam solutions top the list with 32 percent of SMBs planning such purchases within the next six months. Of these, just over 1 in 3 (35 percent) plan to buy cloud-based security and anti-spam offerings.

44 percent are using virtualization solutions. Within small and medium business networks, 21 percent of their total server computing capacity is virtualized. Over the next six months, 30 percent of SMBs plan to deploy or expand virtualization in their networks.

25 percent are planning backup and recovery purchases within the next six months. Of these, 75 percent plan to store data on premise and 25 percent plan to utilize cloud-based storage solutions. 42 percent of data is slated to be stored on network-attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN) devices. 38 percent will be stored in direct-attached and local storage, 7 percent is planned to be hosted offsite, and 13 percent on tape and other media.

57 percent currently use one or more "cloud computing" services. The three most popular cloud computing services in use or on the purchase list include anti-spam (43 percent), hosted email (25 percent), and online backup (20 percent).

There were 1,130 survey respondents most were IT professionals representing technology teams of one to five people that support companies with fewer than 500 employees and with an annual technology budget of $108,000. 

"Things are picking up lately. Business in our area seemed to have bottomed in July. We are seeing a second month of increases. I would estimate things are up about 20% since July." Jonathan Haller,  Computer Service Now.

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