According to the research house, worldwide IT spending growth among SMBs will top 7% in 2008, slighty slower than in 2007 but still roughly 2% higher than overall IT spending increases.
In North America, the company predicts lower SMB spending growth in the obvious areas of construction, finance, and consumer services. But look for growing use of hosted and software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS). Similarly, IDC predicted earlier this year that SMBs would be the next big market for utility computing services.
It seems though, that most smaller companies aren't excited about the concept of SaaS, they just like the benefits. According to an interview in eChannelLine with Raymond Boggs, vice president of SMB research at IDC, smaller companies appreciated being able to hand off their headaches to someone else, for software, storage, and security functions. Boggs also cites surprisingly strong SMB interest in mobile and wireless technology.
None of this should be too surprising. When economic times get tough, it's often smaller, more entrepreneurial companies who help get things going again. And it's yet another opportunity to use technology to get a leg up on competitors as they scale back.