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SMB IT Budgets Surge, But Hiring Stalls

Small and midsize businesses are spending more on information technology (IT).

Spiceworks’ biannual State of SMB IT survey of 1,000 global IT professionals revealed that their budgets are up 19 percent in the first half of 2013, the largest increase in three years. IT pros at SMBs reported an average annual budget of $192,000, up from $162,000 in the second half of last year.

Hardware purchases account for the bulk of IT spending, with tablet devices showing strong 12 percent year-over-year growth.

"The results of our most recent survey highlight optimism among SMB IT departments and a focus on the tools and technologies IT departments need to support their growing businesses," said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT program manager at Spiceworks. "SMBs account for half of all IT spending worldwide, so the results of this survey bode well for technology vendors developing the latest SMB products and services."

More money in the budget, however, doesn’t mean these companies will be hiring more people. Only 22 percent of survey respondents said are hiring IT staff in the first half of this year, a 4 percent decline from the second half of 2012.

The survey also revealed that cloud services and virtualization have found a home with small and midsize businesses. Cloud  usage held steady in 1H 2013, with 61 percent of SMBs using at least one service. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they are using virtualization technology, up 7 percent from the second half of last year.

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