Will SMBs Delay Big Ticket IT Purchases?
Amid continued Wall Street volatility, I’m starting to wonder if small business owners will start to delay big ticket IT purchases like major PC fleet refreshes and application server deployments.
First, the good news: Recent research reports from AMI Partners, CompTIA and other organizations predict SMBs will continue spending strongly on technology upgrades. Some stats from CompTIA, as reported by The VAR Guy:
“A full one-third of the companies surveyed expect to increase their IT budget by 10% or more. CompTIA says this may reflect large, one-time purchases, which is still a good sign for technology vendors and solution providers. In the aggregate, SMB IT budgets are expected to increase by an average of slightly more than 5%, with some firms’ growth rates much higher and some flat.”
Still, those data points surfaced before Wall Street began to spiral downward last week and again today. Until the situation stabilizes on Wall Street, I suspect Main Street U.S.A. small business owners will start to push back on some IT projects.
The big question IT service providers are likely to hear from SMB customers over the near-term:
“Is there a less expensive approach for our business to gain the same results?”
Each time there’s an inflection point like the one above, I suspect cloud computing’s momentum will accelerate a bit more. Every business wants predictable IT costs. And increasingly, I think SMB entrepreneurs want to avoid hiring full-time IT managers, opting instead to outsource IT support and related services.
Cloud stocks may be falling amid the Wall Street sell-off. But as SMBs re-evaluate their IT budgets amid talk of a potential double-dip recession, I suspect more and more IT dollars will shift to the cloud.