Small Businesses Ready for More Hardware, Software

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Small-business IT decision makers are showing more confidence about tech investment – the highest confidence since December 2007 – but they’re still unwilling to hire more staff, according to new stats from value-added reseller CDW.

For channel partners, the lack of IT hiring means a chance to provide outsourcing services, and the opportunity to deploy cloud applications – think SaaS, storage and backup, network analyzers and more – that take the pressure off companies to hire more people.

Indeed, CDW’s report looks good for VARs and other channel partners helping smaller companies deploy hardware and software. For example, 49 percent of IT decision makers at small businesses, and nine out of 10 medium-size firms, plan to replace or install new hardware in the next six months, CDW found in its latest IT Monitor report. That’s up 10 percentage points since October 2010.

At the same time, 61 percent of those same decision-makers intend to replace or deploy new software, within six months.

The improving sentiment about IT investment is rubbing off on the corporate sector, too. Even though large businesses appeared more optimistic about their spending earlier in 2010, about three-quarters now plan to replace or install hardware or software in the next six months. CDW dubbed that a record high in the corporate world since IT Monitor started tracking in December 2007.

“As the economic climate improves, investing in technology will be critical for organizations seeking to increase productivity," Thomas E. Richards, president and COO of CDW, said in a prepared statement. “Focusing on the IT refresh cycle and upgrading existing technology clearly is taking immediate precedence with decision makers over increasing IT staffing in the near term."

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