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IDC: Worldwide SMB Spending Will Grow in 2010

While the impact of the global recession was no surprise, the extent to which small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) were adversely affected was greater than anticipated. As a result, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast worldwide SMB spending on information technology (IT) will increase by 5.5 percent during 2010-2014. This is considerably lower than previously forecast.

“The downturn had a devastating impact on SMBs worldwide,” said Ray Boggs, vice president, Small/Medium Business and Home Office Research at IDC. “Moving forward, small businesses will not follow the past pattern and return to pre-recession spending levels more quickly than midsize firms. Instead, SMBs of all sizes will remain cautious with their IT spending over the next several years.”

Key findings from IDC’s SMB forecast include the following:

  • Worldwide SMB IT spending will grow to nearly $629.3 billion in 2014. Despite the $17.4 billion spending increase expected in 2010, SMB IT spending levels will not return to 2008 levels until 2011.
  • While SMB spending declines affected all categories of hardware, software, and services, the spending recovery will vary by technology type. IDC expects SMB spending on PCs and peripherals to experience the strongest growth, followed closely by packaged software outlays, while systems and storage spending will be the slowest growing.
  • SMB spending growth will be strongest in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, although spending will not recover to pre-recession levels until 2011. The developing markets of Asia/Pacific and Latin America will also experience growth of more than 7 percent throughout the forecast period. SMB spending growth in developed regions will be roughly 3-4 percent.
  • North America, Western Europe, and Japan collectively represent about 70 percent of worldwide IT spending by SMBs.

“The diversity of the SMB market will continue to be one of its hallmarks,” added Boggs. “Given that the developed regions account for the largest share of SMB spending, and the developing regions represent the greatest opportunity for market growth, the global market really becomes a ‘tale of two regions.’ To succeed, technology providers need to develop separate strategies that address the distinct needs of companies in each of these settings.”

The IDC study,”Worldwide Small and Medium-Sized Business 2010-2014 Forecast: Recovery and Change in SMB IT by Category and Region,” forecasts spending by small and medium-sized businesses across major geographic regions. Total IT spending is presented for 2010-2014, along with the baseline year of 2009. Detail on spending totals is provided for key hardware, software, and services technology areas: PCs and peripherals, systems and storage, networking equipment, packaged software, and IT services.


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