Top Ten Trends Among Small and Medium Businesses in 2007

Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Posted by Brawlin Melgar

AMI-Partners—Global Leader in SMB Consulting—Predicts the Top Ten Trends Among Small and Medium Businesses in 2007

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The top ten IT trends for global SMB markets were released today by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc., a leading consulting firm specializing in IT, Internet, telecom and business services market intelligence trends and strategy, with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises.

#1: Beyond the Big Four (B4) Emerging BRIC Countries — IT Vendors Will Focus On the “Next Ten” (N10) Emerging Markets; SMB spending In North America and Japan Will Surpass Large Business IT Spending In 2007

AMI forecasts the worldwide IT spending by SMBs to grow by 10% in 2007, fueled by continued high double digit growth in countries in the Big Four (BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India and China) category. However, IT vendors will step up their efforts to explore the Next Ten (N10) emerging markets, namely selected countries from ASEAN (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Philippines), SAARC (Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) and Lat Am (Argentina, and Chile). Collectively, these ten emerging markets are exhibiting GDP growth rates of over 7% and showing SMB IT spending growth rates exceeding 20% in 2007. Vietnam and Chile have seen surges in foreign direct investment (FDI), both being increasingly recognized for their manufacturing potential. High adult literacy rates and increasing governmental support will drive the SMB sector. SMB IT spending in Indonesia will equal that of Sweden and surpass it in 2008. 2007 will also see the fall of the majority share of IT spend by large businesses in Japan and North America. For the first time, SMB IT spending is poised to surpass spending by large businesses in the two countries as noted above. Such a trend has already occurred in other regions – Asia Pacific, Europe and Lat Am.

#2: Storage and Security Convergence Will Help SMBs Move Up The Adoption Curve

Storage and security solutions will continue to converge, leading to market consolidation. SMBs will be more inclined to adopt dual-purpose solutions as they check their budgets against investment priorities. AMI forecasts storage and security spend will grow by 19% in 2007. Storage optimization will be seen as an imperative among mid-market businesses. 2007 will also see the introduction and adoption of “All-in-One network storage appliances” for the less than 250 employee segment. While SMBs are rapidly implementing basic PC security solutions such as anti-virus, spam filters and spyware, many SMBs have yet to deploy more comprehensive server and network-based security schemas that would provide for more robust, end-to-end protection against the rising tide of security threats. In 2007 SMBs will direct new spending on more advanced security solutions, such as intrusion detection, secure identity and access management, web filtering, encryption, and automated patch management. Vendors that provide SMBs with easy to use vulnerability assessment tools, a choice of software, hardware and services-based security solutions, and the ability to deploy these solutions in an incremental, yet integrated manner, will be best positioned to capitalize on this market opportunity.

#3: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Vendors Turn to Chapter Two

SaaS Chapter One was all about selling companies on the scale and skill advantages that SaaS provides, helping businesses take advantage of sophisticated solutions while minimizing IT investments, footprints and risks. In Chapter Two, SaaS vendors will increasingly focus on how their solutions help customers streamline business processes for market advantage. Leading vendors will increasingly provide customers with blueprints for business process improvement, pre-built integration solutions, more varied and flexible pricing options, and ecosystems that facilitate community r