Yesterday we released a report that investigated what are the trends in SMB IT. The crux of the research pointed out some interesting factors – especially when considered in today’s more complex economy.
Spend your IT money wisely
Because SMBs typically lack the resources or technical expertise necessary to evaluate and implement advanced technology solutions, they rely predominantly on the assistance of local technology resources such as Microsoft Small Business Specialists. This community of independent technology experts takes the time to understand the needs of SMB owners and can help identify and implement an IT solution that has the maximum impact on business.
The “Microsoft SMB Insight Report” reflects the insight of Small Business Specialists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Brazil. The following are some of Microsoft’s key findings on the technologies most likely to drive growth and profitability for SMBs in 2009:
•Fifty percent of the surveyed Small Business Specialists identified virtualization or IT consolidation through a small or midsize server as the technology most likely to reduce operating costs.
•The Small Business Specialists expect a 20 percentage point increase this year in the number of SMBs that use software as a service.
•More than 50 percent of the Small Business Specialists considered customer relationship management (CRM), virtualization or IT consolidation through a small or midsize server as the best investment for maximizing business growth in a down economy.
•Nearly 40 percent expect an increased interest in business intelligence and identified it as a critical tool for helping improve a customer’s experience and increase loyalty.
•More than half of the surveyed Small Business Specialists anticipate an increase in the number of SMB remote workers, and nearly 60 percent expect that the shift to more remote workers also will lead to bigger roles and more responsibilities for those individuals working remotely.
“Historically, we have seen that SMBs have responded to economic contractions by intensifying their use of IT, both to cut costs and to defend and enhance their customer relationships,” said Steve Reynolds, managing director for AMI-Partners. “If SMBs respond to the current crisis as they have in the past, we can expect that a sizable number of smaller businesses will invest in IT now to lower operating costs, boost employee productivity and increase connectedness to customers so as to reap the benefits in the years ahead.”
A complete version of the 2009 “Microsoft SMB Insight Report” is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/smb/docs/Microsoft2009SMBInsightsReport.doc