Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the United States are increasingly relying on new information technology (IT) solutions to strengthen their operational, marketing and customer engagement activities, according to a new study released today by CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global IT industry.
CompTIA’s Second Annual SMB Technology Adoption Trends study shows a significant majority of U.S. SMBs (80 percent) are looking for technology solutions that “deliver immediate payback in terms of minimum disruption of business continuity and seamless integration with existing solutions.”
Additionally, 71 percent of SMBs – businesses with 10 to 499 employees – say they are willing to pay a premium for new solutions with a proven return on investment.
“The underlying take-away is that SMBs want IT that works right the first time and will look to solutions that do,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “Thanks to innovation, the steady decrease of the cost of computing power and storage and new business models, technology has never been more accessible to companies of all sizes.”
IT solutions SMBs are considering include:
- Virtualization – Interest is strongest in the area of server virtualization where 37 percent of SMBs plan to adopt over the next 12 months.
- Unified communications – 25 percent of SMBs expect to adopt a voice-over-IP solution this year.
- Managed services – Compared to 2009 intent to adopt data, 2010 may result in a two to three fold increase in the use of managed services.
- Open source applications – Nearly 20 percent plan to begin using open source software in the next 12 months.
- Mobility upgrades – Within the next 12 months, nearly half (45 percent) need to address the priority of enabling off-site employees to remotely access company networks.
The CompTIA study also shows that while IT innovation is leveling the competitive landscape for businesses of all sizes, even the smallest companies face daunting technology challenges. Top IT priorities for U.S. SMBs include:
- Keeping up with storage demands (cited by 55 percent of responding companies)
- Managing ever-increasing numbers of devices and networks to accommodate mobile and telecommuting workers (54 percent). The great majority of SMBs have employees who telecommute (72 percent) or are mobile (87 percent).
- Providing richer customer experience through the web (53 percent)
CompTIA’s Second Annual SMB Technology Adoption Trends study was fielded via an online survey to more than 400 executives in U.S. small and medium business in February 2010. The survey reached businesses in key vertical markets including manufacturing, finance and insurance, healthcare, government and professional services.
The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members at www.CompTIA.org or by contacting email@example.com.