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Survey: Small-to-Midsize Business IT Budgets Slowly Rising, While New Hiring Stalls

Tablets, Cloud Services and BYOD Initiatives Show Strong Adoption and Opportunities for Growth in 2013

AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/12 -- Spiceworks™, Inc., the world's largest IT community, today announced the results of its bi-annual State of SMB IT survey. The results reveal a seven percent increase in SMB IT budgets in the second half of 2012, up from the first half of this year. However, respondents also reported a four percent decline among those planning to hire new IT staff. Additionally, the survey underscores how the rise of tablet devices and cloud services are prompting SMB IT departments to consider purchasing and supporting new technologies over the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, and how those technologies will impact their existing environments.

"The world's SMBs continue to increase their investment in new technologies, including tablet devices, smartphones, cloud services and virtualization," said Jay Hallberg, co-founder and vice president of Marketing for Spiceworks. "The results of our research bode well for the industry as new technologies become more pervasive and prompt IT departments to make additional investments."

The Spiceworks State of SMB IT survey is conducted twice annually to investigate the latest technology purchasing, usage and staffing trends among companies with less than 1,000 employees. The survey of 1,356 IT professionals in 100 countries was conducted during the third quarter of 2012 through Spiceworks' Voice of IT® market insights program.

Survey highlights include:

IT budgets continue to grow, while hiring plans stall

  • IT budgets at SMBs are rising, growing seven percent since the first half of 2012. The average annual SMB IT budget is $162,000, up from $152,000 reported in May. SMBs with 1-20 employees spend $1,900 per employee on technology, more than twice the $700 per employee organizations with more than 250 employees spend.
  • Hardware purchases such as laptops, desktops, servers and storage devices continue to account for the largest share of SMB IT budgets at 40 percent, followed by software at 34 percent and IT services at 26 percent.
  • Only 26 percent of SMBs plan to hire IT staff in the second half of 2012, a four percent decline from earlier this year.

Tablet adoption among SMBs sustains rapid growth

  • Fifty-three percent of SMB respondents support company-issued tablets on their network, with an additional 12 percent planning support during the first half of 2013. Among those IT departments, 85 percent support Apple iPad devices, while 59 percent support Android-based tablets.
  • Only two-and-a-half years since the original Apple iPad was introduced, the acceleration of company-issued tablets has started to close the gap previously seen between tablets and smartphones. Smartphones are currently issued and supported by 59 percent of SMBs, with an additional 12 percent planning to support smartphones in the first half of next year.

Adoption of cloud services spikes and desktop virtualization shows strong potential

  • Cloud services are now used by 62 percent of SMB IT departments, up 35 percent y/y. During the first half of 2013, 73 percent of SMBs anticipate using cloud services. Web hosting, email hosting and data backup/recovery solutions are the most popular cloud-based services.
  • For the first time, the State of SMB IT study evaluated the adoption of desktop virtualization. Twenty-three percent of SMBs have currently deployed desktop virtualization, and an additional 16 percent plan to adopt in the first half of 2013.
  • Server virtualization has become a pervasive technology within SMB IT departments. Nearly two-thirds of SMBs have deployed a virtualization solution, and adoption is expected to accelerate in the first half of 2013 by an additional 14 percent.

BYOD continues to prove popular despite IT hesitations

  • Fifty-nine percent of SMB respondents have a BYOD initiative and support employee-owned computers, tablets or smartphones on their network. Among these, 87 percent support Apple iPad devices, while 79 percent support Android-based tablets. Meanwhile, 86 percent support Apple iPhones, and 88 percent support Android-based smartphones.
  • SMB IT professionals remain split on supporting BYOD. The survey finds that 14 percent of SMBs fully embrace the trend, 32 percent report that it works well for some devices, but not for others, 24 percent claim it's a headache for their IT department, and the remaining 30 percent have not formed an opinion.
  • Notably, SMBs with less than 20 employees are most likely to fully embrace BYOD with nearly three-quarters highlighting an ongoing initiative.

The State of SMB IT survey included 1,356 respondents from around the world. Sixty-two percent of respondents were from North America, 23 percent from EMEA, 12 percent from Asia-Pacific, and 3 percent from Latin America. Those surveyed work in organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees and are among the more than 2.2 million SMB IT professionals in the Spiceworks Community. For more information on this survey and for a complete list of survey results, visit

About Spiceworks Voice of IT
The Spiceworks Voice of IT market insights program publishes statistics, trends and opinions collected from global small and mid-size business technology professionals. More than 500,000 IT professionals in more than 100 countries have joined the program to share information and feedback on the technology issues important to them.

To receive updates on future research, follow Spiceworks Voice of IT on Twitter at @VoiceOfIT, and sign up for Spiceworks Voice of IT research e-mails at To learn more about Spiceworks' research programs and services, contact [email protected].

About Spiceworks
Spiceworks connects 2.2 million IT professionals with more than 1,200 technology brands to simplify how IT professionals discover, buy and manage nearly $400 billion in technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Tenaya Capital, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Shasta Ventures and Austin Ventures. For more information visit

Follow Spiceworks on Twitter: Connect with Spiceworks on Facebook: Search for available career and networking opportunities on LinkedIn:

Spiceworks is a trademark and Voice of IT is a registered trademark of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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Adam Schaeffer
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